‘There are much more important matters at hand’: Naomi Osaka pulls out of her Western & Southern Open semi-final in New York as she joins US athletes and teams in protesting after Jacob Blake was shot by police
Naomi Osaka has announced she is withdrawing from the Western & Southern Open in New York as athletes and teams in the US protest after black man Jacob Blake was shot by police.
The world number 10 said in a statement she had been scheduled to play in the tournament’s semi-final on Thursday.
She wrote: ‘However, before I am an 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 immediate 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.
‘Watching the continued genocide of Black people at the hands of people is honestly making me sick to my stomach.’
Osaka was playing in the tournament as a warm-up for the US Open, which she won in 2018.