Frances Tiafoe, a native of Prince George's County, Md., showed up for his round of 16 matchup of the U.S. Open on Monday night with a Black Lives Matter hoodie and mask on.
The last American man remaining in the tournament entering his match with the world No. 3 player Daniil Medvedev, Tiafoe used his platform to bring attention to issues impacting people in both the U.S. and abroad.
Protests of police brutality and racial injustice continue across America following the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and the recent shooting of Jacob Blake, who was left paralyzed. Those injustices combined with the coronavirus pandemic have made 2020 especially tough. Tiafoe, who is both Black and tested positive for COVID-19 in July, knows all too well how challenging this year has been.
Continuing to push the message of social equality on what was likely one of the biggest stages of his career, Tiafoe also wrote "Black Lives Matter" and "Say Her Name" on his shoes, the latter being the campaign slogan to bring awareness to the injustice of Taylor's death.
Tiafoe lost his match in three sets, 4-6, 1-6, 0-6, but the 22-year-old continues to cement himself as one of the best up-and-coming players after also reaching the quarterfinals of the Australian Open in January.