Naomi Osaka quits tournament in protest of the 'genocide of Black people at the hands of the police'

Tennis star Naomi Osaka has quit the Western and Southern Open tennis tournament in protest over the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

Osaka is one of several athletes who announced a boycott of high-profile games after 29-year-old Blake was shot seven times in the back by Kenosha police as he walked away from them.

Blake is now paralysed from the waist down.

Osaka’s action came after players refused to compete in fixtures across the NBA, Major League Baseball, the WNBA and Major League Soccer.

In Orlando, Florida, the Milluwaukee Bucks made a powerful statement by boycotting their scheduled game against Orlando Magic.

As the clock struck game time, the court DJ played Beyoncé’s civil rights inspired track 'Freedom'.

For Osaka’s part, she shared a message on social media about her choice to pull out of her tournament.

She wrote:

As many of you are aware, I was scheduled to play my semifinals match tomorrow. 

However, before I am an athlete I am a Black woman.

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.

She said that watching the "continued genocide" of Black people at the hands of police is making her "sick" to her stomach.

On social media, Osaka was praised for making her voice heard and taking such a public stance.

It is yet to be seen whether more stars will boycott tennis events, such as the US Open which is just around the corner.

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