The 100 Most Influential People of 2020
Danielle Parhizkaran—Reuters
By Maya Moore
September 22, 2020 9:34 PM EDT

Seven matches. Seven masks. Seven names.

Watching Naomi Osaka play the U.S. Open, I was inspired by how beautifully she wove her dominant athletic performance into another narrative.

Believe me: it wasn’t easy. It took incredible focus, courage and intentionality to carry herself the way she did. To use her gifts and talents, her voice and her platform, to honor the preciousness of Black and brown lives.

It took humility and grace to point beyond what she was doing, winning on one of the biggest stages in her craft, at something more important.

She reminded us that we can all resist the excuses that guard us from giving love. Whatever power we have, the most lasting and life-­giving way we can steward that power is by using it to lift others up. Especially those who aren’t exactly like us.

Because we need each other. We need the fullness of humanity. Sports can uniquely beckon this truth.

If somebody like Naomi can have the courage to use what she has to call people higher, then we can too.

You can too.

Moore is an activist and WNBA and Olympic champion

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