Tennis star Naomi Osaka quickly took to Twitter on Aug. 14 with a pledge to donate her earnings from the Western & Southern Open to relief efforts for Haiti following the earthquake that struck the Caribbean nation earlier in the day.
By Sunday night the death toll from Saturday’s 7.2 magnitude temblor was being reported as some 1300 people, with thousands injured and left homeless. According to the United States Geological Survey, the earthquake’s epicenter was approximately 90 miles west of the country’s capital Port-au-Prince and hit the area at about 8:30 a.m. local time.
Osaka, born to a Haitian father and Japanese mother, expressed how hurt she was to see Haiti go through “devastation” one month after President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated. The four-time Grand Slam champion wrote, “Really hurts to see all the devastation that’s going on in Haiti, and I feel like we really can’t catch a break. I’m about to play a tournament this week, and I’ll give all the prize money to relief efforts for Haiti.”
Osaka added as she closed out the tweet by trying to send out a glimmer of hope, “I know our [ancestors’] blood is strong we’ll keep rising.” Before the initial announcement, Osaka shared a post that included a Haitian flag and prayer hands emojis hours after the earthquake news.
As Osaka’s announcement went viral many people praised the star for helping.
“THAT’S HOW YOU DO IT🔥✊🏿.”
“She doesn’t have to do anything! The fact that she is shows her character& I love it.”
“She didn’t have to do this! You’re an amazing woman Naomi. You’re a true humanitarian.”
This week, the 23-year-old is scheduled to play in the Western & Southern Open in the Cincinnati Masters home court in Mason, Ohio. The tournament started on Aug. 14 and will end on Aug. 22.
The potential earnings from the champion to semifinalists of the tournament will range from over $100,000 to $255,220. The women’s singles final winner will receive $255,220, while the runner-up will earn $188,945, and the losing semifinalists will pocket $100,250.
This isn’t the first time Osaka has been very vocal about things that matter to her. Last year during her U.S. Open matches the tennis star raised awareness by wearing masks which included names of Black people who were senselessly killed over the years including Breonna Taylor, Trayvon Martin and Ahmaud Arbery.