Naomi Osaka pulls out of tournament to protest racial injustice
Naomi Osaka pulls out of tournament to protest racial injustice
Naomi Osaka Drops Out Of Tournament To Protest Police Brutality, Cordae Approves
28 August, 2020, 08:25
"Before I am a athlete, I am a black woman".
Naomi Osaka has announced her she will not play her Western and Southern Open semi-final in the name of racial justice.
The tournament's sanctioning bodies, the women's WTA Tour and the men's ATP Tour, said on Thursday they had chose to pause the tournament, postponing the day's semifinal matches for both men and women to Friday to take "a stance against racial inequality and social injustice" in the United States. "The USTA, ATP Tour, and WTA have chose to recognize this moment in time by pausing play at the Western & Southern Open on Thursday, August 27".
The 22-year-old Japanese was originally scheduled to play her semifinal on Thursday but tournament organizers chose to postpone all the last-four matches to Friday.
In Osaka's initial statement, posted on Twitter, she said she had made the decision to withdraw to move the conversation forward.
I don't expect anything drastic to happen with me not playing, but if I can get a conversation started in a majority white sport I consider that a step in the right direction.
Blake's shooting has resulted in a list of major U.S. sporting events being called off across the States, with athletes protesting against racial injustice following the police shooting in Wisconsin.
Alongside the Bucks, two other National Basketball Association play-off games, three Major League Baseball matches, three WNBA fixtures and five Major League Soccer games were postponed after player-led actions in response to the shooting of African-American Blake and the civil unrest that has followed.
The NBA's Milwaukee Bucks boycotted their playoff game against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday, forcing the league to postpone its slate of postseason fixtures.
"When will it ever be enough?"
Osaka, a two-time Grand Slam champion, was set to face Belgian Elise Mertens in the same quarantine bubble where the US Open will be played starting on Monday.
Blake was shot seven times in the back by police as he attempted to get into a auto containing his three children.
Osaka, meanwhile, was drawn against her compatriot Misaki Doi in the first round of the U.S. Open.
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