Tennis star and the world’s highest-paid female athlete at the moment, Naomi Osaka, announced yesterday that she’s dropping out of one of the first tennis tournaments in the coronavirus pandemic era, the Western & Southern Open in New York. The decision came as a form of protest over police use of force, as demonstrated earlier this week in the Jacob Blake case in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
This is what the tennis star posted on her Instagram profile:
View this post on Instagram
Blake is a Black man who took seven shots from the police while walking away. The incident prompted several protests in the Milwaukee suburb.
Following Osaka’s post, the US Open warmup announced that there will be no games on Thursday before resuming on Friday. However, Osaka told the Guardian in a statement that she would eventually return to the tennis courts on Friday for the semifinals. She wrote that she’s ready and prepared to concede the match to her opponent, but after a lengthy consultation with the WTA and USTA, she has agreed at their request to play on Friday.
“They offered to postpone all matches until Friday and in my mind that brings more attention to the movement. I want to thank the WTA and the Tournament for their support.” – she further noted.
Tennis was not the only thing that stopped following the incident. Following the Blake case, the NBA, Major League Baseball, MLS, and WNBA games were postponed in the aftermath of the case and the subsequent protests.
As reported by the family, Jacob Blake is likely to be left paralyzed.