tennis

Activist, champion: Naomi Osaka selected AP Female Athlete of Year

79 Comments
By HOWARD FENDRICH

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79 Comments

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I care about all people killed unjustly by police.

16 ( +20 / -4 )

Maybe she should mention the racism that her mother stated was the reason the family left Japan. But the money from her Japanese sponsors is FAR MORE IMPORTANT than any social justice.

15 ( +22 / -7 )

"You know nothing about the real world" - Ricky Gervais.

Semi-educated professional athletes lecturing us about social issues? No thanks!

13 ( +32 / -19 )

What about the Nike sweatshops Naomi?

13 ( +22 / -9 )

Let's discuss her dishonesty about renouncing American citizenship.

There is no evidence that she was ever an American citizen. When and how did she become an American citizen? Neither her mother nor her father are American citizens, so she had no birthright as an American citizen. She may have permanent residence under her parents, but that is not citizenship.

She did not renounce any supposed American citizenship as she claimed she did to represent Japan in the Olympics. The names of all Americans renouncing citizenship are required by law to appear in the Congressional Record and she is not listed.
12 ( +22 / -10 )

Maybe Ms. Osaka should insist that her rapper boyfriend stop using the N-word in his music.

12 ( +19 / -7 )

What about the five white people killed by police for every black person killed? What about their stories?

If black males (6.5% of the US population) were not responsible for 52% of murders and 54% of robberies in the US, there would be less confrontations and interactions with police.*

(* FBI data: https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2016/crime-in-the-u.s.-2016/topic-pages/tables/table-21)

The black community needs to address the murderous and larcenous ways of black males. Instead, rap and hip hop music glorifies punk killers.

11 ( +20 / -9 )

In the photo, the names on her masks are of black people who have been killed by police in America, is that right? Will she be wearing masks with the names of white people killed by police, or only black people? Will she be wearing masks with the names of police (or any colour) who have been killed (by people of any colour)? And she's Japanese, right? If she wants to jump on a political cause, can she not find any from the country she belongs to and plays tennis for?

9 ( +19 / -10 )

And yet she happily takes sponsorship money from a company that profits from slave labour.

America in a nutshell right there.

8 ( +15 / -7 )

Racism in football remains a problem.

There was a lot of racism in English football in the 70s and 80s but things have got better and better since then, to the point that colour doesn't matter - which is, surely, the aim.

But then along comes BLM, an American Marxist organisation, which wants to see everything through the spectrum of race and which wants to make a person's colour, not their football, the most important thing. It's a huge backwards step.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Funny the Japanese media makes such a fuss about Naomi, when the Japanese people pretty much don't give a rat's behind. She knows next to nothing about Japanese and her -only- insight into Japanese people is through her mother and the gabillions-en the sponsors pay. Doesn't speak Japanese, either.

The issue is simple: sports is sports and politics is politics. The t'wain should never mix. (Notice I didn't say they can't have their own opinion, like any/every one else. Operative word there was "mix".)

6 ( +10 / -4 )

A more recent "battle of the sexes" saw a male player ranked 203 in the world totally dominate the Wiliams sisters one after another. He claimed that he held back a bit to make the game interesting, and also played a round of golf and had a couple drinks before the match.

As for our dear Naomi, it takes no courage for a pampered and privileged athlete to make a facile gesture. I don't care to know the politics of entertainers, athletes, singers, actors, etc. Any more than I want to know what music/movies any particular politician likes.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Agree with JeffLee.....She has no clue, just want's to be in the spotlight.

5 ( +23 / -18 )

The black community needs to address the murderous and larcenous ways of black males. Instead, rap and hip hop music glorifies punk killers.

The result of fly-by-night fathers who wouldn’t know responsibility if it came up and bit them on the donkey.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Peter, I dissagree and agree with you.

Let's discuss her dishonesty about renouncing American citizenship.

There is no evidence that she was ever an American citizen. When and how did she become an American citizen? Neither her mother nor her father are American citizens

From my understanding her father was already a naturalized US citizen by the time she was born so she did get nationality through birthright. American citizenship can be gained by birthright OR naturalization. Her father became naturalized and she got it through birthright since her father was naturalized.

However, I do agree with you on the other point, there is no evidence that she has given up her US citizenship as she has claimed, persons who renounced us citizenship is a public record and can easily be checked.

My problem with her is that while I have no doubt she's a great tennis player, she is supposed to represent team Japan, so howabout she protest issues related to people living in Japan (foreigners who live in Japan have many issues as we all well know) .

4 ( +8 / -4 )

As long as all professional tennis players can also equally display their political views however abhorrent then I have no problem with this.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

I think "Naomi-chan" likes a bit of attention.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Oh, and Trayvon Martin on her facemask was not killed by a policeman. He was killed in an altercation with a police-sponsored community watch program member, who was injured and found not guilty of any crime by a jury.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

The playing of national anthems and the display of certain flags is regarded as nationalist propaganda by some....

Ban those too?

Why not? I'd be all for banning national anthems and flags at sports events. It's so ugly. Better still, ban all nationality-based sports events, starting with the Olympics. ("We won the curling." "No, we didn't. Her down the road and her friends won the curling.")

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Yes, every person who renounces US citizenship is listed in the federal register by law.

Here is the link pdf's for every month:

https://www.federalregister.gov/quarterly-publication-of-individuals-who-have-chosen-to-expatriate

Now, you show me where her name is.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Don't some of you, even for a moment think that in her 23 years of existence, might have had any consciousness at all , of inequities in society ? Even if we omit her being from a mixed parentage? Really ?

2 ( +15 / -13 )

Ignorant. Self aggrandizing. Scammer.

How about those sweatshops Naomi??

2 ( +7 / -5 )

What are you talking about wipeout?

I already checked the Congressional Record of people renouncing citizenship all the way back to 2019. You can check it yourself.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Is professional sport, athletics, football, motor racing, tennis, the list is endless, a mandated platform to promote/address social and political change?

There is a wealth of vested and conflicting financial economic interests, branding, sponsorship.

It is a gross misconception, an injudicious naivety to believe otherwise.

To fully, understand, is to question the motivations of stakeholders, analyzing the key questions, pitfalls and dangers utilizing the effect promoting a political agenda will/could shape the future of the sports industry and its influence on society.

For Naomi Osaka….

 “Her activism has shone a light on how we as individuals and sports leagues can collectively make an impact,” WTA Chairman and CEO Steve Simon said. “Not only is she a phenomenal tennis player, but she also demonstrates how athletes have an opportunity to use their platform for something bigger than the game or themselves. Her actions are nothing short of inspiring and she is so very deserving of this recognition.”

The conundrum.

Did the Associated Press award Naomi Osaka, as the Female Athlete of the Year, or the Female sports Activist? What proportion did Naomi Osaka political activism contribute to the award?

Ultimately who will decide the nature of political/social issue should be pursued or addressed within the confines of a sporting arena, to be then broadcast globally.

A political Pandora's box with the lid rattling.

Never should sports be subject to the naïve foolishness of Political amateurs, that will inevitably threaten robust accountably of democratic institutions

1 ( +7 / -6 )

We stand with Naomi-chan

Nope. You stand.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

I think the purpose of celebrities is to tell us what to think.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Putting someone's name over your mouth doesn't make you an activist. How much has she helped with charities? Not much, I bet, if she professes to be Japanese. Charity just isn't done by most Japanese (just look at the quiz shows on TV). Shouldn't she be concentrating on causes in her own country? Plenty of racism and social injustices here, or does she really feel American inside, but just wants the Japanese sponsor money to keep flowing in?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

A greater percentage of black people are killed by police or brutalised than their white counter parts.

Five times as many white people are killed than black people are killed.

Blacks experience more stop and searches.

False.

A greater percentage are given prison terms than their white counter parts.

They commit more murders and robberies than white people.

You don't have to believe me, look at the crime statistics. You may not like the truth, but all issues start and end with the truth.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Additionally, the rate of fatal police shootings among Black Americans was much higher than that for any other ethnicity, standing at 33 fatal shootings per million of the population as of November 2020.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Activist first, athlete second. Got it.

I think the only activists are you 'journalists'...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

We stand with Naomi-chan

If you called her "Naomi-chan", she would have no idea what you are referring to. This is how Japanese she is.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

IOC Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter states: "No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas."

There is a clear and logical reason for the IOC to enforce this rule without fear or favor.

All sporting events should be free from political, religious, and racial propaganda.

The political opinions the competitors may wish to promote whilst away from competition is at their own judgement/discretion.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

"The English football league supports BLM'

The EFL would support Adolf Hitler if it meant making more money.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Athletes are welcome to voice their opinions and use their platforms to draw attention to causes that they believe in, and hopefully they can use their influence to bring about substantial change to improve our communities. However, many times it reeks of insincerity.

LeBron James famously says "I am more than just an athlete and won't shut up and dribble a ball", but he then criticized former Houston Rockets' GM Daryl Morey for exercising his freedom of speech after the GM tweeted "Fight for freedom. Stand with Hong Kong". LeBron James doesn't want to jeopardize those tens of millions of dollars coming in from China. Recently he's been confusing class privilege with white privilege, crying that Lori Loughlin, former Full House actress who bribed school officials to get her daughters admitted to college, got to pick the prison of her choice only because she's white. Hmmm, does he really not expect the same treatment for him and his family too?

As for Naomi Osaka, how much does she really understand about the individuals whose names are on her mask? Is she even aware that Trayvon Martin and Ahmaud Arbery were not victims of police violence but rather killed, you could even say murdered, by civilians. Unfortunately Trayvon Martin's family never got criminal justice but Ahmaud Arbery's killers have been sitting in jail since May as the await trial, and were recently denied bail, and no doubt guilty already in the court of public opinion before their trial. Maybe she should wear a mask for Nicole Simpson as well then.

Naomi Osaka is in a unique position to use her platform to raise awareness for racial inequalities in Japan yet she stays silent as that sponsorship money continues to roll in. She didn't seem to mind Nissin whitewashing her last year but imagine the uproar if that ad was made in the US. As an American who has lived in Japan and China, while the US is far from perfect, racism is unfortunately much more tolerated here. The Star Wars actor John Boyega complained that Disney wouldn't market him because he's black. Well, the perfume brand Jo Malone, whom he was the global ambassador for, did not even give him a heads-up when they axed him out of the Chinese commercials in favor of a Chinese actor.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

By giving her such title, it's definitely a big business. She isn't worth it for what she had done or is doing. She can grunt as loud she can in the court but she got to be quiet outside.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

When Naomi addresses the other side ie black on black crime and the high proportion of black males opting out of society then she might be taken seriously...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

White people killed by police 2020, was actually 370. Black people killed by police 2020 was 192.

But white people are 70% of the population while black people are 13%.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/585152/people-shot-to-death-by-us-police-by-race/

If Black men (6.5%) of the population stopped committing 52% of all murders and 54% of all robberies in the US, they would have less interactions with police.

Incorrect. Black people are stopped and searched more than whites even in those cities and towns with lower black crime. And yes, racism exists in many countries and BLM became an international movement.

Yes it also happens in the UK, France and many other countries.

Collective punishment is illegal. Targeting a group has a whole because of something done by a minority.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Estimated number of arrests by offense and race, 2019

https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/crime/ucr.asp?table_in=2

0 ( +1 / -1 )

wipeout: you should try searching for it. It's quite simple.

"As she claimed she did". It's your statement. Aren't you willing to actually back it?

There are dozens and dozens of stories of her claiming she would renounce her US citizenship:

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/tennis-star-naomi-osaka-gives-u-s-citizenship-represent-japan-n1065111

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Then ban football.

why should the majority of supporters have to suffer the loss of their game because of a minority of racist fans? Clubs are working to tackle the racist problem including excluding the guilty from the clubs and games.

so you are suggesting all sports should be banned?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

If I wore a face mask with Bugs Malone, or Pretty Boyd Floyd, or Hitler on it for example, I would be supporting past thugs.

I find it sad that those with rap sheets inches thick get praised. Makes no sense to me.

Pray and fight for the rights of innocent victims such as kids, or family members, that were never in trouble and get gunned down in drive by shootings. Those are the ones we should be thinking about.

Those that die with expansive rap sheets should be ignored by the media.

This is my opinion and I hope I am not offending anyone. We need changes in our society to praise those that move on and study and help their fellow human beings, and not idolize those that promote, do, and act violent.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

why should the majority of supporters have to suffer the loss of their game because of a minority of racist fans?

There is an argument to be made that football is institutionally racist. Fans need to check their privilege.

Instead of your preposterous idea of banning the world’s most popular sport which employs countless people in a variety of areas ( playing staff, security, catering, retail, manufacturing, media, transportation etc. ) because of a minority of racist idiots, why not just work harder to get rid of the racism? Progress has already been made here.

No good?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

@Peter Neil

Nothing turned up yet?

Baffling, ain't it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

False, zichi.

992 total shooting deaths through November 20th 2020, with only 192 Blacks.

source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/585152/people-shot-to-death-by-us-police-by-race/

If Black men (6.5%) of the population stopped committing 52% of all murders and 54% of all robberies in the US, they would have less interactions with police.

Your numbers for traffic stops are for the UK. I thought only the US have racist police?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

P.S. This may seem wrong, but personally I find Naomi Osaka quite beautiful. Logic tells me that is no way to judge somebody, and yet...

Please help me with this conundrum.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I think the only activists are you 'journalists'...

Then why do such stories get so much readership?

Methinks you aren't in line with the fact that the majority of people on this planet swing left.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

bass4funk

She should just stick to playing sports and enjoy her popularity, leave politics and stay as far away as you can unless you want to start alienating a lot of people.

Are you suggesting all sports people should not express personal views or support any political causes including those who express support for Trump? You would apply the same to actors and actresses?

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

 Racism in football remains a problem.

Then ban football.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

Racism in football remains a problem.

Then ban football.

?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Sports and Games - life in full flow. Sportspersons are yet to do justice to their enormous potential. It's a privilege to wish them well for 2021 and beyond.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@Peter Neil

What are you talking about wipeout?

It's in my earlier comment. Were you too busy downvoting to pay attention?

Have another look: "I've never seen that claim in her words". Fairly simple, I'm suggesting that you put some substance behind "She did not renounce any supposed American citizenship as she claimed she did". That's your basis for saying Osaka is being dishonest. If you can't demonstrate she claimed it, which you haven't, then you're not in a good position to "discuss" her dishonesty on that question.

"As she claimed she did". It's your statement. Aren't you willing to actually back it?

I already checked the Congressional Record of people renouncing citizenship all the way back to 2019. You can check it yourself.

Yes I've seen it, months ago, and commented on it, months ago. But it was a different context. They don't publish information on what people say or didn't say about their citizenship. You need a quote from Osaka saying she had renounced her American citizenship. Why on earth you think the Congressional Record would....do you really need to have this explained to you?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Keep up the good work Naomi ! A lot of “ haters “ that don’t like what you represent.... keep the fight alive....

Hopefully one day skin color doesn’t matter because aliens from outer space want civil rights too. If you had 5 eyes do you want to be pre-judged too ?

( joke ) + sarcasm

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The EFL would support Adolf Hitler if it meant making more money.

it started from the players not the associations. Racism in football remains a problem.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

A wannabe USA American...

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

There is an argument to be made that football is institutionally racist.

There can be an argument made for literally anything. It doesn't mean it's even remotely correct.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

More whites are shot by cops if you only just compare the figures.

Blacks only account for 13% of the population. Whites 70% of the population.

In 2020, 370 whites were shot dead. Same figure as 2019.) 192 blacks were shot dead.

Total non white killings for 2020 was 494.

US police kill up to 6 times more black people than white people

black people in the US are killed by police more often than white people. Young black men are at highest risk. A 2019 study found that black men aged 25-29 were being killed at rates between 2.8 and 4.1 in 100,000.

Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2246987-us-police-kill-up-to-6-times-more-black-people-than-white-people/ 

Black people nine times more likely to face stop and search than white people

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/oct/27/black-people-nine-times-more-likely-to-face-stop-and-search-than-white-people

more blacks than whites to to prison

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/04/30/shrinking-gap-between-number-of-blacks-and-whites-in-prison/

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

She should just stick to playing sports and enjoy her popularity, leave politics and stay as far away as you can unless you want to start alienating a lot of people.

-4 ( +21 / -25 )

Good for Naomi, CONGRATULATIONS! Well deserved award. She showed this year that there are things more important to fight for than sport. As a proud Black woman, she stood shoulder to shoulder with all those fighting for justice over the countless brutal executions of Black kids, women and men by racist US police.

Tell them loud and proud, Naomi-chan - BLACK LIVES MATTER.

-4 ( +18 / -22 )

She should just stick to playing sports and enjoy her popularity, leave politics and stay as far away as you can unless you want to start alienating a lot of people.

But I thought you liked people who aren’t politicians and tell it how they see it. trump for example, and he hasn’t alienated a lot of...oh wait.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

She should just stick to playing sports and enjoy her popularity, leave politics and stay as far away as you can unless you want to start alienating a lot of people.

You only dispense this advice to celebrities who are liberal. When a nutter like Ted Nugget makes a comment, you agree with him like it’s going out of style. Hypocrisy at its finest.

-5 ( +10 / -15 )

Tokyo-m, raises a valid point, what body will ultimately decide mask political policy agenda

How would such a decision affect freedom of expression.......

*You have the freedom to express yourself and to access information and the opinions and expressions of others*

This includes political speech, views on religion, opinions and expressions that are favorably received or regarded as inoffensive, but also those that may offend, shock or disturb others. You should have due regard to the reputation or rights of others, including their right to privacy.

Think about this carefully.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

All sporting events should be free from political, religious, and racial propaganda.

The playing of national anthems and the display of certain flags is regarded as nationalist propaganda by some. Some flags and anthems have overt religious and political significance. The inscription on the Saudi flag in the shahada. Look at the lyrics of the anthem of our own GB team.

Ban those too?

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

So, TODAY she is accepted as Japanese..therefore she is Female Athlete of the Year.

Nice work.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

There are posters on here who have not achieved a great deal in life and probably never will. They look at a talented beautiful, young woman of colour and think why should she be in that position, who does she think she is. I'm not having that (me who has lived longer, worked harder) for her, to show me the injustice in our society.

I say, it's alright. Release your negation on here, if it makes you feel better.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Semi-educated professional athletes lecturing us about social issues? No thanks!

Are we sure "us" know more than her?

Lots of people out there who aren't even "semi-educated" - that's who we should be more concerned about

She should just stick to playing sports and enjoy her popularity, leave politics and stay as far away as you can unless you want to start alienating a lot of people.

Maybe she doesn't mind if she loses some money or popularity for doing what she thinks is right

Maybe she doesn't care about being the popular girl or always chasing the all-mighty dollar

I thought people hate those who are vain or only chasing the all-mighty dollar

Do people praise role models who only care about popularity or money?

Are you suggesting all sports people should not express personal views or support any political causes including those who express support for Trump? You would apply the same to actors and actresses?

If sports/actors people aren't allowed to speak up, then nobody is allowed to speak up

I dunno what makes us so special that "we" can speak up, but sports/actors people can't

Are "we" better than they are?

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

How come so many in this comment section get so worked up whenever there's even a hint of discrimination against foreigners in Japan but vehemently oppose a person of colour making a statement against systemic racism in the US?

If she's not supposed to speak about these issues, who is? What qualifies a person to use whatever platform they have to express their views on social issues? It sport is supposed to be apolicital, why do we sing national anthems and are proud when 'our' players win?

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

Game, Set and Mask!

The English football league supports BLM.

-7 ( +8 / -15 )

A greater percentage of black people are killed by police or brutalised than their white counter parts. Blacks experience more stop and searches. A greater percentage are given prison terms than their white counter parts.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Naomi chan, please keep working hard. You are really on the right and wonderful direction. So keep it up. We are very proud, happy of you.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

@Peter Neil

Let's discuss her dishonesty about renouncing American citizenship.

I suggest that first you provide some evidence of how she has been dishonest.

She did not renounce any supposed American citizenship as she claimed she did to represent Japan in the Olympics.

I've never seen that claim in her words. Do you have anything to hand?

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

She has no clue, just want's to be in the spotlight.

Same could be said for the current US president. The difference is that her actions don't hurt anyone, his do

-8 ( +15 / -23 )

Don't some of you, even for a moment think that in her 23 years of existence, might have had any consciousness at all , of inequities in society ? Even if we omit her being from a mixed parentage? Really ?

Equality in the world is limited to things, like Big Mac's, Toyota Camry's and Starbucks Lattes. They're pretty much equal everywhere.

The is no equality about people. Everyone has been a party to advantages, disadvantages, bias, non-bias.

We're not equal. I'm smarter than you. I've done more in my life than you. We're not equal.

-8 ( +9 / -17 )

What about the five white people killed by police for every black person killed? What about their stories?

Go out and tell them. Freedom of speech equals freedom of causes to support. Nobody is stopping you from speaking about what is important to you.

But criticizing a celebrity for speaking out because it’s not the cause you would prefer...that’s ridiculous.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

why should the majority of supporters have to suffer the loss of their game because of a minority of racist fans?

There is an argument to be made that football is institutionally racist. Fans need to check their privilege.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

JeffLeeToday  06:51 am JST

"You know nothing about the real world" - Ricky Gervais.

Semi-educated professional athletes lecturing us about social issues? No thanks!

The tennis world is dominated by white folks, mostly. As a mixed Black/Oriental Asian Naomi is in a position to give her perspective as such - because she IS. Also, as a 'mixed race' individual she can show the world of sports a new angle on some issues because she lives thru them every day. She is groundbreaking in tennis but then again there's a first for everything of every category.

We've had Venus Williams who is Black. Back in the 70s there was a 'Battle of the Sexes' where Billie Jean King highlighted women in tennis. Then she later highlighted lesbians in sports.

You go, Naomi.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

I get the feeling that some of the detractors here would be applauding her as brave and outspoken if she wore a Qanon hat and were supporting anti election theories.

Instead they oppose her talking about basic human rights issues.

-10 ( +6 / -16 )

Good for you Naomi, we stand with your brave fight against racial injustice everywhere (and yes, she has spoken about Japan's racism as well).

I find it hypocritical as always that those who are quick to nitpick and insult Naomi by saying she should just stick to sports, would then change their tunes and would congratulate any athlete that speaks out about the imperfections of Japanese society.

Naomi is the future of tennis.

-10 ( +7 / -17 )

Haters gonna hate. Go Naomi.

-13 ( +16 / -29 )

The black community needs to address the murderous and larcenous ways of black males. 

Wrong. The US needs to address the murderous and racist ways of white police who are murdering innocent Black kids, women and men.

We stand with Naomi-chan and her loud and proud support of BLM. It will be satisfying to most people (and infuriate the racists) when Naomi-chan stands on the gold medal podium in Tokyo, wearing her BLM mask and saluting her fellow Blacks killed by racists.

-13 ( +7 / -20 )

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