In the aftermath of the shooting of Jacob Blake, Naomi Osaka used her voice again to push for change. Osaka initially stated that she would not compete in her “Cincinnati” semifinal against Elise Mertens due to on-going social injustices. After a "lengthy consultation" with the WTA the world No. 10 agreed to take the court again on Friday.
"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 that need attention, rather than watching me play tennis," Osaka wrote on Wednesday.
The WTA would soon back the 22-year-old by halting play at the Western & Southern Open on Thursday, and many other of the sport's prominent names echoed her words of equality.
Billie Jean King
A brave and impactful move by @naomiosaka, in support of the protest movement moving through the sports world. She was to play in the semis of the @cincytennis tomorrow. Athletes using their platforms for good means so much. Don’t remain silent. #BlackLivesMatter #standup #speakout #endracism #BLM Posted @withregram • @australianopen Naomi Osaka withdrew from the Western & Southern Open on Wednesday in protest against "the continued genocide of Black people at the hands of police".