Standing in solidarity with athletes in the NBA and WNBA, two-time grand slam champion Naomi Osaka postponed play to protest the shooting of Jacob Blake.
Blake, a 29-year-old father of six, was shot seven times in the back by a Kenosha, Wisconsin police officer on August 23rd. Although he survived the shooting, Blake is now a part of the many African American men and women that have suffered at the hand of law enforcement.
While nationwide protests erupted, athletes all over the country have protested and stopped play to stand in solidarity with Blake and other victims. Osaka, a black woman, decided to step away from her semifinal match in the Western & Southern Open.
Tweeting the words, “Before I am an athlete, I am a black woman”, Osaka reflected her passionate thoughts in a twitter post and exclaimed why she made her decision to postpone play in the tournament.
Starting the discussion of police brutality in a majority white sport, Osaka has opened the eyes of many and forced the world to see what is really happening to those in the black community. Her powerful words and Black Lives Matter shirt, not only brought awareness to Mr. Blake’s shooting, but it further enunciated her position that Black Lives should Always Matter.