While many tennis stars have applauded the stance taken by former World No. 1 Naomi Osaka and the Western & Southern Open organizers to protest against the shooting of a black man in Wisconsin - at least one tennis official has said that he is not a fan of such actions.
Osaka, who has spoken out on the Black Lives Matter protests very openly during the recent months, said she would not play her semi-final scheduled for Thursday at the Western & Southern Open as a protest against the incident, joining several athletes in other sports such as baseball and basketball.
After Osaka made her statement, the USTA, the WTA Tour. the ATP Tour and tournament organizers decided to pause the tournament for one day and resume on Friday. Since then, Osaka has said she will take the court for the semi-finals, although she was and still is prepared to withdraw from the semi-final match.
Dirk Hordoff says he is not a fan of the actions at the Western & Southern Open
According to the Sport1 website, Dirk Hordorff, Vice President of the German Tennis Association, says. "I'm not a fan of such actions.
Here a national problem is transferred to an international sport" Hordoff says that while he supports the rights of athletes who express their opinion, not taking part in tournaments does not solve any problems. "Where's the border? Will a player refuse to play next week in protest against North Korea? Or against Belarus? The Americans have the chance to change something on November 5th..
in the presidential election. I am for mature athletes. Everyone can express their opinion and convey their message. But simply not taking part does not solve any problems." The tennis circuit had been shut since March due to the global pandemic and only resumed in early August for the women's tour with events in Palermo and Prague.
This was the first event for the men on the ATP Tour, and will be followed by the US Open Grand Slam event. The Western & Southern Open is currently being played in New York this year instead of Cincinnnati - the tournament's semi-finals will see Osaka taking on Elise Mertens and Victoria Azarenka taking on Johanna Konta on the women's side.
In the men's semi-finals, World No. 1 Novak Djokovic will take on Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut, the No. 8 seed, while fourth seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas will meet Canadian Milos Raonic.