Episode 271: Naomi Osaka Takes a Stand and Tennis Follows
UPDATE: After Osaka initially withdrew from Thursday's semifinals, she has agreed to play on Friday after the entire day of play was postponed on Thursday. Postponing the semifinals of the Western a Southern Open because of continuing police violence against Black people, Naomi Osaka joined an escalating wave of anti-racism athlete activism that began in basketball and has echoed across North American sports. Tennis has been seen as remedial in recent years when it comes to athlete engagement, so Osaka's gesture was especially striking. Tumaini Carayol of the Guardian joins to discuss Osaka's action, what if any precedents there are for it in recent tennis memory, and where the sport goes from here, now that Cincinnati has canceled play on semifinal Thursday out of deference to the moment and that the U.S Open main draw is only days away. You'll also hear in this episode from Milos Raonic, who was strikingly forceful on the topics in the moments after his own quarterfinal win. If you'd like to support our show, particularly as our normal work has disappeared along with the sport, we've launched an NCR Patreon where you can do just that! Check out our five tiers and see which might be right for you! And thank you to the many listeners who have already given their support! (And thank you to G.O.A.T. backer J O'D!) As always, thanks for following us on Twitter and subscribing/reviewing on iTunes on iTunes or whatever your podcasting app/platform of choice may be.