Naomi Osaka has pledged to donate any prize money from her upcoming tournament to relief efforts in Haiti. The Caribbean Island is currently in need of aid following an earthquake on Saturday that has left more than 1200 people dead.
In a tweet just hours after reports of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hitting Haiti Osaka wrote that it, “really hurts to see all the devastation that’s going on in Haiti, and I feel like we really can’t catch a break.”
Referring to the Western & Southern Open currently underway, Osaka continued. “I’m about to play a tournament this week and I’ll give all the prize money to relief efforts for Haiti. I know our ancestors blood is strong we’ll keep rising,”
This is a cause close to Osaka’s heart, her father is Haitian. Whilst Osaka has represented Japan in top competitions the tennis star publicly embraces her Haitian ancestry.
Osaka has made headlines recently for speaking out on issues like police brutality and racial inequality.
Further, she has also spoken out on mental health awareness in athletics following a fine for refusing to take part in French Open press events.
A state of emergency has been declared in Haiti. The country’s civil protection agency is reporting at least 1,297 people are dead and more than 5,700 injured. Officials have confirmed that the earthquake destroyed 13,694 homes and damaged another 13,785.
Hospitals have been pushed to the brink. There are concerns about whether there are enough doctors available to assist relief efforts.