Jacob Blake Shooting: Semifinalist of W&S Open Naomi Osaka protests, tourney pauses play
Tennis was the latest sport to take a stance after Naomi Osaka took to Twitter saying she won't be playing the semifinal after defeating Anett Kontaveit in the quarterfinals
Sports tournaments across the world came to a screeching halt on Wednesday, August 26, with many NBA and MLB teams boycotting the games following the shooting of Jacob Blake by the police in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Tennis was the latest sport to take a stance after Naomi Osaka took to Twitter saying she won't be playing the semifinal on Thursday, August 27, after defeating Anett Kontaveit in the quarterfinals.
"Before I am a athlete, I am a Black woman. And as a Black woman I feel as though there are much more important matters at hand that need attention, rather than watching me play tennis. 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," Osaka wrote in her tweet. " "Watching the continued genocide of Black people at the hand of police is honestly making me sick to my stomach."
Soon after her tweet, the W&S Open also released an official statement that play would be paused on Thursday, August 27. "As a sport, tennis is collectively taking a stance against racial inequality and social injustice that once again has been thrust to the forefront in the United States," it read. "The USTA, ATP Tour, and WTA have decided to recognize this moment in time by pausing tournament play at the Western & Southern Open on Thursday, August 27. Play will resume on Friday, August 28."
The Bucks were the first team to take a stand on August 26 when they didn't show up on the court ahead of their Game 5 clash against the Orlando Magic. Yahoo's Chris Haynes reported that the scrimmages between Houston Rockets and the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Portland Trail Blazers-Los Angeles Lakers games would be postponed as well after players decided not to play. Soon after the Bucks, the MLB teams, Milwaukee Brewers and the Seattle Mariners supported the move by joining in.
However, it is yet to be confirmed if Osaka will play on Friday, August 28. The US Open will be the next big tournament starting August 31.