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Naomi Osaka Pulls Out of Semi to Protest “Continued Genocide of Black People”

Naomi Osaka (Photo: Leonard Zhukovsky/Shutterstock.com)

Naomi Osaka (Photo: Leonard Zhukovsky/ Shutterstock.com)

Tennis star Naomi Osaka has joined basketballers and baseballers across America who are boycotting their events to protest racial injustice and police brutality.

The protests follow the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man who survived seven bullets from police in Kenosha, Wisconsin this week.

Naomi, who was due to compete in the semi-final at the Western & Southern Open on Thursday afternoon after her 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 win over Anett Kontaveit, decided to withdraw from the event instead.

“Before I am an athlete, I am a black woman,” she writes in a statement on her socials, “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.”

 

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“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,” she continues.

“Watching the continued genocide of Black people at the hand of police is honestly making me sick to my stomach. 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. When will it ever be enough?”

She ended her message by hashtagging the names of Breonna Taylor, Elijah Mcclain and George Floyd who all lost their lives at the hands of police, as well as Jacob Blake who is currently in hospital.

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