Much like in 2010, the country of Haiti was again thrown into harms way when it was impacted by an earthquake of 7.2 level magnitude on Saturday. Thousands of organizations and public figures have stepped up to the plate in the effort to aid the people of Haiti who have lost their homes and loved ones.
Among them is Olympic Tennis star Naomi Osaka, who pledges to donate any potential prize money to relief efforts.
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A big part of the tennis player’s dedication to helping people of Haiti in this time of need is because her father, the man who taught how to play the sport, is of Haitian decent. Seeing that the death toll rise higher and higher with each developing news cycle, the world’s second greatest tennis champ had to do something.
“Really hurts to see all the devastation that’s going on in Haiti, and I feel like we really can’t catch a break,” Osaka took to Twitter to express, “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.”
She’ll be competing in the Western & Southern Open tennis tournament in which she placed second last year. Held in Cincinnati, this will be her first appearance on the court since her trip to the Tokyo Olympics when she when toe-to-toe with Marketa Vondrousova.
According to TMZ, the monetary prize for the winner of the women’s single tournament will be $255,220. The runner up will receive $188,945 and semifinalists get around $100k.
This isn’t the first time the tennis star has used her platform to bring awareness to causes that are close to her heart. From wearing masks to promote police reform to openly refusing interviews for the betterment of her mental health, she’s always using the spotlight to showcase what she believes in.
The death toll in Haiti currently stands at 1,269, though many individual are still marked as missing.
“The most important thing is to recover as many survivors as possible under the rubble,” the county’s Prime Minister Ariel Henry tells CBS News, “We have learned that the local hospitals, in particular that of Les Cayes, are overwhelmed with wounded, fractured people.”
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Sources: The Washington Post, TMZ, CBS News
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