Following WTA star Naomi Osaka‘s decision to join the racial justice boycott and strike actions taking part across sports including the NBA, after the shooting of Jacob Blake by Kenosha, Wisconsin police, the Western and Southern Open has opted to postpone all of Thursday’s ATP and WTA semifinal matches until Friday. In a joint statement released late Wednesday night by the tournament, the ATP Tour, WTA Tour, and USTA the governing bodies of the sport stated that tennis is “taking a stance against racial inequality and social injustice..”
After his quarterfinal win, Canada’s Milos Raonic expressed support for Osaka’s decision to not play her semifinal match against Elise Mertens, and others in the tennis world have done the same including former Grand Slam champions Rennae Stubbs, Billie Jean King, and Andy Murray
A brave & impactful move by @naomiosaka, in support of the protest movement moving through the sports world.
She was to play in the semis tomorrow.
Athletes using platforms for good means so much.
— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) August 27, 2020
— Rennae Stubbs (@rennaestubbs) August 27, 2020
Andy Murray in support of Naomi Osaka’s decision to not play her semi-final tomorrow in protest. pic.twitter.com/vgKuzGSeVb
— Reem Abulleil (@ReemAbulleil) August 27, 2020
More statements and responses are expected in the coming hours and days from the world of tennis sport, including from Osaka herself, and it is still uncertain how this postponement of play impacts the upcoming US Open, which is taking place at the same venue in New York.