Osaka plays tennis after protesting against police violence; ‘NBA resumes later’

Naomi Osaka will participate in the semi-finals of the WTA-tournament of Cincinnati (which is played in New York because of the coronapandemic). The number ten of the world initially refused to continue playing because of the shooting of the black American Jacob Blake.

Also the play-offs of the NBA basketball league, which were suspended after the Milwaukee Bucks team did not want to play, seem to be resumed according to American media, although the duels in Thursday’s play-offs will also not be finished.

The board of the NBA will meet Thursday evening (Dutch time) to discuss when there could be another game. The hope is that the duels can be resumed on Friday or Saturday.

Blake was shot seven times in the back by a policeman during his arrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sunday and according to his father was paralysed from the waist down. The FBI is investigating the case that caused a wave of protest in the American sports world.

‘When will it be enough?’

“I am sick of seeing the continuous genocide of black people by the police. I am ready to see a new hashtag every time and to have to talk about it over and over again. When will it be enough”, Osaka said Wednesday after winning the quarterfinals against Anett Kontaveit.

View the first message from Osaka:

After consultation with the WTA, the umbrella organisation for professional tennis players, and the tennis association USTA, Osaka has now decided to play. Also because the organization of the WTA-tournament postponed the semi-finals to Friday, so there could be more attention for the protests, according to Osaka.

She meets the Belgian Elise Mertens in the semi-finals of the WTA-tournament, which is being held in New York because of the coronapandemic. Next week starts the US Open.

Listen to CCeit correspondent Marieke de Vries about the ‘historic moment in American sports culture’:

The basketball players of Milwaukee Bucks were the first to show up. Wednesday, they decided not to play the fifth game in the playoffs series against Orlando Magic, after which there was also a line through the other duels in the playoffs.

According to various American media, the players have decided after mutual consultation that it is possible to play again, but an official decision has yet to be made. U.S. President Trump lashed out to the basketball players and declared that the NBA “has become a political organization”.

The women’s basketball association WNBA also suspended all games and will not be in action for the time being. “This is not a strike or a boycott. We don’t play because we want to use the time to think about these developments and make ourselves heard.”

In May, George Floyd died in Minneapolis after being harassed by agents, after which protests started throughout the country. Since then, there have been worldwide demonstrations.