Naomi Osaka Photograph:( AFP )
Osaka's pullout from the WTA tournament comes as two people were shot dead during anti-government protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin and a teenager was arrested in the wake of African-American Jacob Blake's shooting
Amid violence in Wisconsin over Jacob Balke's shooting by US policemen, tennis star Naomi Osaka withdrew from WTA Western & Southern Open semi-final match on Thursday in New York declaring that "genocide of black people at the hands of the police is honesty making me sick to my stomach."
"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," the former world no-1 said in a tweet, adding, "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."
"Before I am an athlete, I am a black woman," she 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," she said.
"When will it be enough? the Japanese tennis sensation asked.
Osaka's pullout from the WTA tournament comes as two people were shot dead during anti-government protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin and a teenager was arrested in the wake of African-American Jacob Blake's shooting by US policemen.
Jacob Blake's shooting was caught on video with the police repeatedly shooting at him. Blake's lawyers said Blake, 29, has shattered his spine and his stomach, colon, liver and an arm have been damaged.
"It is going to take a miracle for Jacob Blake Jr to ever walk again," Blake's lawyer civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump had said.