The Japanese Osaka went on Twitter in New York on Wednesday evening after beating Anett Kontaveit in the quarterfinals and speaking to reporters.
“Hello, as many of you know, should I play my semi-final tomorrow,” began the two-time Grand Slam winner. “Before I become an athlete, however, I’m a black woman. And as a black woman, I feel like there are far more important things that need immediate attention 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 that’s a step in the right direction.
“To see the ongoing police genocide against black people honestly makes me sick.
“I’m tired of seeing a new hashtag popping up every few days and I’m extremely tired of having the same conversation over and over. When will it ever be enough?”
The 22-year-old quit her post using the hashtags Jacob Blake, Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain and George Floyd.
Osaka, who spent most of her life in the United States and now lives in Los Angeles, joined protests in Minneapolis in the days after Floyd’s death.
Visited memorial for Floyd
“When I got back to Los Angeles, I signed petitions, protested and donated like many of us. But I kept wondering what I can do to make this world a better place for my children? I decided it was Time was to talk about systemic racism and police brutality. “
On Twitter, WTA founder Billie Jean King, a decade-long advocate of equality, described Osaka’s move as “courageous and effective”.
“Athletes who use platforms for good mean so much,” said King.
In a statement by the tennis governing bodies WTA, ATP and USTA on Wednesday around midnight, it says: “As a sport, tennis takes a common stand against racial inequality and social injustice, which have once again come to the fore in the USA.
“The USTA, the ATP Tour and the WTA have decided to recognize this moment by pausing tournament play at the Western & Southern Open on Thursday, August 27th. Play will resume on Friday, August 28th . “