Coco Gauff demands change in powerful Black Lives Matter speech

Sixteen-year-old American tennis player Coco Gauff has given an emotional speech at a Black Lives Matter protest saying she “demands change now”.

Gauff, one of the sport’s rising stars, urged people to vote and speak out against racism, adding: “If you are choosing silence, you are choosing the side of the oppressor.”

Protests have been held across the United States and globally since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Gauff has repeatedly spoken out since.

Speaking in her hometown of Delray Beach, Florida, Gauff said it is “sad” she was protesting against the “same thing” her grandmother did “50-plus years ago”.

“We must first love each other, no matter what,” Gauff added.

“I have spent all week having tough conversations and trying to educate my non-black friends about how they can help the movement.

“Second, we need to take action.

“I am not of the age to vote – it is in your hands to vote for my future, my brothers’ future and for your future so that is 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.”

She added: “It breaks my heart because I’m fighting for the future for my brothers. I’m fighting for the future of my future kids. I’m fighting for the future of my future grandchildren.”

Gauff rose to fame last year when she beat five-time champion Venus Williams at Wimbledon aged 15 in a run to the fourth round.

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