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US Sports postponed because of race protests

Sports in the USA have seen games postponed or cancelled as a new wave of protests swept the country following the latest incident featuring a black man being shot by a white police officer.

The episode in Wisconsin earlier this week, has once again stoked up racial tensions and opened divisions in the country, and there have been violent scenes in some cities.

And now sportsmen and women have not been slow to make their feelings hurt.

Naomi Osaka, the 22-year old World Number 10 in Women’s Tennis, withdrew from her semi-finals of the Cincinnati Open, where she was due to play Elise Mertens of Belgium on Thursday, to protest against racial injustice.

Just hours after her announcement, organisers of the tournament decided to postpone all the matches scheduled for Thursday to Friday, with the three bodies involved, USTA, the ATP and WTA declaring that it was their own gesture of solidarity with the protesters.

Meanwhile three NBA play-off games were also called-off, with players from the Milwaukee Bucks refusing to take to the court against the Orlando Magic. Games between the LA Lakers and the Portland Trail Blazers, and the Houston Rockets against Oklahoma City Thunder will also be played at a later date.

Several players of black or mixed-race origins are said to be considering leaving the bio-secure bubble in Orlando, where the play-offs are being staged this year.

Meanwhile, three MLB (Major League Baseball) games were postponed, and a number of fixtures in MLS (Major League Soccer) also now have to be played at a later date.

WNBA (Women’s National Basketball Association) games have also been affected, whilst the Detroit Lions NFL team cancelled a practice session. A number of other black NFL players decided to sit out pre-season training in their own protests.

Two NHL (National Hockey League) games were played. However, there was a moment of reflection before the Boston Bruins took on the Tampa Bay Lightning in Toronto, and in Edmonton, where the Dallas Stars were playing the Colorado Avalanche.

Shantanu Gupta predominantly writes for the sister sites of Inplay Cricket India, Inplay Sports India and Indian Cricket World. Having grown up around the intense rivalries of cricket Shantanu took to a journalistic career in following the sport whilst also remaining mindful of other key sports of interest to Indian sports fans. You’ll see him not only writing about cricket but also covering football, tennis and more.

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