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Osaka will not play semifinal against Mertens in protest of racial injustice

Osaka will not play semifinal against Mertens in protest of racial injustice

Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka, the fourth seed, who reached the semifinals of the Premier 5 in Cincinnati on Wednesday, announced on social media that she will not play this Thursday’s match against Dutch Elise Mertens.

Osaka, 22, winner of two Grand Slam, Osaka, said she will not go to the track in Flushing Meadows (New York), where the Cincinnati tournament is played this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, in protest of the Racial injustice that he considers to be lived in the United States, after the police shooting of the 29-year-old black man, Jacob Blake, which occurred last Sunday, in the town of Kenosha (Wisconsin).

Blake was shot seven times in the back, according to reports from the lawyer for Blake’s family, who is in serious condition and unable to walk, sparking protests across the country and especially within the world of professional sports.

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The three games of the first round of the NBA playoffs, which were to be played in the Walt Disney World Resort bubble, in Orlando, Florida, were postponed amid requests from players to make changes to avoid the problem. which they call “police brutality and injustice.”

Also in Major League Baseball, games between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Cincinnati Reds, and the Seattle Mariners versus the San Diego Padres, were postponed for the same reason.

While most of the United States Professional Soccer League (MLS) matches were also suspended.

But the most radical decision has been that of Osaka, since it can cost him a suspension, in addition to losing significant economic income if he won the title at Flushing Meadows.

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After having won 4-6, 6-2 and 7-5, Estonian Anett Kontaveit, twelfth seeded, issued a statement via Twitter.

Hello, as many of you know, I was scheduled to play my semi-final match tomorrow. However, before being an athlete, I am a black woman, ”wrote Osaka. “And as a black woman, I feel like there are much bigger issues that need immediate attention, rather than watching me play tennis.”

“I don’t expect anything drastic to happen if I don’t play, but if I can start a conversation in a mostly white sport, I think it’s a step in the right direction.”

Osaka in her statement also wrote that “seeing the continued genocide of blacks at the hands of the police makes me honestly sick to my stomach. I’m exhausted that a new hashtag pops up every few days and I’m extremely tired of having this same conversation over and over again. Again”

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When will it be enough? #JacobBlake, #BreonnaTaylor, #ElijahMcclain, #GeorgeFloyd », concludes Osaka.

The other semifinal of the Cincinnati Premier 5 will be played by the British Johanna Konta, eighth seeded, against the Belarusian Victoria Azarenka, winner of the tournament in 2013. EFE (HN)

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