On Wednesday, the USTA announced the launch of a new social responsibility campaign called “Be Open" to promote important messages of progress, positivity and equality.
“We are living in unprecedented times that have brought to the forefront the need for people to work together to solve the problems we face,” said USTA president Patrick Galbraith. “It is our hope that the USTA’s ‘Be Open’ campaign will inspire the tennis community and the broader society to reflect on all we can do to solve these challenging issues together.”
When you're open you can pick up the torch, not just for women's tennis but for women around the world. pic.twitter.com/SWtqQhzbjV— US Open Tennis (@usopen) August 29, 2020
“Be Open” honors champions of equality and is designed to inspire everyone to have a more “open” mind towards all things and all people. The campaign includes film, a social content series, broadcast exclusives, and an activation with an array of Black artists.
The campaign is all the more pressing given the current state of the world. On Wednesday night, Naomi Osaka announced she will not play her Western & Southern Open semifinal in protest of the shooting of Jacob Blake. She joined many athletes from the NBA, WNBA, MLB and MLS in taking a stance.
The Western & Southern Open responded by pausing play until Friday, and Osaka revealed on Thursday that after consulting with the USTA and WTA, she will take the court against Elise Mertens.
“Be Open” will launch with a film on Day 1 of the US Open on Monday narrated by singer, activist, and actress Andra Day, and set to her rousing anthem “Rise Up". The launch will follow with a content series around the themes of equality, including women’s equality, Black players breaking barriers and tennis’ support of the LGBTQ+ community.
During the Grand Slam, through an activation referred to as “Black Lives to the Front,” the USTA will bring racial equality to the forefront by commissioning 18 Black artists to create original works of art that will be displayed on front row courtside seats inside Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The USTA also will create special activities around gender equality, anchored by a recognition of the 50th Anniversary of the Original Nine, and before each evening session, the USTA will honor society’s frontline heroes to recognize all they have done in the fight against COVID-19.
For more on the campaign, go to USOpen.org/BeOpen.