< div> Two-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka and currently ranked No. 10 in women’s tennis in the world, announced via Twitter on Wednesday that she would not be competing in the Western and Southern Open semi-finals as part of the of a demonstration following the shooting of Jacob Blake by the Kenosha police, Wis.
“I don’t expect anything drastic to happen if I don’t play,” Osaka wrote. “But if I can strike up a conversation in a predominantly white sport, I consider it a step in the right direction.“Watching the continued black genocide at the hands of the police honestly makes my stomach ache. I’m exhausted having a new hashtag popping up every few days and I’m extremely tired of having this same conversation over and over again. When will this be enough?
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Osaka defeated Anett Kontaveit in straight sets in the quarterfinals on Wednesday. She was due to face Elise Mertens in Thursday’s semi-final match.
Osaka won her first Grand Slam at the 2018 US Open, beating Serena Williams in the straight-set final, becoming the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam singles title. She won the 2019 Australian Open by knocking out Petra Kvitova in three sets.
Osaka’s decision comes after the Milwaukee Bucks players chose not to speak for their playoff game against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday. This caused the NBA to postpone the two remaining playoff games of the day.
Three MLB games were also postponed after the players decided not to play. WNBA players opted out of games Wednesday night, as did MLS players.