*Naomi Osaka brought seven masks to the U.S. Open, each with the name of a victim of racial injustice. And after advancing to the semifinals with a straight sets win Tuesday night, she wore her fifth mask of the tournament, this time bearing the name of George Floyd.
During a post-match interview, ESPN surprised her with a video showing some parents thanking Osaka for keeping their children’s names in the consciousness of both American and global audiences.
Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, told Osaka she was grateful for her fight for social justice, adding, “We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Continue to do well. Continue to kick butt at the U.S. Open.”
Marcus Arbery Sr., the father of Ahmaud Arbery, also thanked Osaka, adding, “God bless you for what you’re doing and you’re supporting our family with my son. My family really, really appreciates that.”
Osaka responded, “I feel like they’re so strong. I’m not sure what I would be able to do if I was in their position. I feel like I’m a vessel at this point in order to spread awareness. It’s not going to dull the pain, but hopefully I can help with anything that they need.”
Watch below. The surprise begins at the 4 minute mark: