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WATCH | Coco Gauff gives inspi...

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WATCH | Coco Gauff gives inspiring speech at Black Lives Matter rally

Stephen Doyle
Stephen Doyle

12:35 PM - 4 Jun 2020



16-year-old professional tennis player Coco Gauff has given an inspiring speech at a Black Lives Matter protest urging people to speak out against racism.

Gauff rose to fame last year when she defeated the five-time champion Venus Williams in the first round at Wimbledon.

The teenager was standing behind a podium at a Black Lives Matter Rally in her hometown of Delray Beach, Florida.

"I just spoke with my Grandma and I think it’s sad that I’m here protesting the same thing that she did 50-plus years ago," Gauff said.

"So I'm here to tell you guys that we must first love each other no matter what. We must have the tough conversations with our friends.

"I've been spending all week having tough conversations, trying to educate my non-black friends on how they can help the movement."

Gauff was keen to highlight the fact that she is unable to vote at her age, with 18 being the legal voting age in Florida.

However she implored people to use theirs when they get the chance later this year.

"Second, we need to take action and yes, we're all out here protesting, and I'm not of age to vote, and it's in your hands to vote for my future, my brother's future and for your future.

"So that's one way to make change.

"Third, you need to use your voice, no matter how big or small your platform is, you need to use your voice.

"I saw a Dr. (Martin Luther) King quote that said, 'The silence of the good people is worse than the brutality of the bad people.'

"So, you need to not be silent. If you are choosing silence, you're choosing the side of the oppressor."

There have been rallies and protests all across the United States since the death of George Floyd last week.

The man responsible for his death, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with second-degree murder, while his three colleagues will also face charges.

Gauff reminded the rally of all the other innocent black people who have lost their lives while urging non-black people to help in the fight against racism.

"One of the things I heard this week is, 'well it's not my problem.

"This is what I have to tell you; if you listen to black music, if you like black culture, have black friends, then this is your fight too.

"This is not just about George Floyd. This is about Trayvon Martin. This is about Eric Garner. This is about Breonna Taylor.

"This is about stuff that's been happening. I was eight years old when Trayvon Martin was killed. So why am I here at 16 still demanding change?

"And it breaks my heart because I'm fighting for the future of my brothers. I'm fighting for the future of my future kids. I'm fighting for the future of my future grandchildren.

"So, we must change now."



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