The tennis champion was just two matches away from potentially taking home the Western & Southern Open trophy.
It's a quiet night for major sports leagues as players have opted to boycott their prospective games. Sunday's (August 23) shooting of Wisconsin resident Jacob Blake has caused the world to take notice of another officer-involved shooting, prompting already-existing protests to intensify. The Kenosha Police Department named Rusten Sheskey as the officer responsible for shooting Blake in the back seven times and as a sign of solidarity, players in the NBA, WNBA, and MLB have boycotted their games. The NHL shared that they planned to take a "moment of reflection," but they would be pressing forward with their scheduled games.
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Naomi Osaka was ready to compete in the Western & Southern Open's semifinals but announced on Wednesday (August 26) that she would be dropping out as a sign of protest. She shared the news in a lengthy statement she posted to Instagram. "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 immediate attention, rather than watching me play tennis."
"If I can get a conversation started in a majority white sport I consider that a step in the right direction," Naomi added. "I'm exhausted of having a new hashtag pop up every few days and I'm extremely tired of having this same conversation over and over again." Naomi Osaka is hailed as the next great player in tennis, especially after she championed over Serena Williams at the U.S. Open.
Naomi's boyfriend, rapper Cordae, approved of her decision and commented fist emojis on her post. Do you think she mde the right move? Read her message in full below.