Teenage tennis phenomenon Coco Gauff has released a powerful protest video on TikTok following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis asking, “Am I next?”
Dressed in a black hoodie in honour of Trayvon Martin — the unarmed African-American teenager shot by a police officer in 2012 — the 16-year-old faces the camera as a caption reads: “This is why I am using my voice to fight against racism.”
The screen then fills with pictures of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Aiyana Jones, Freddie Gray and a composite shot of 16 African-American men and women who have been killed by police or civilians due to racism.
At the end of the video, Gauff slowly raises her hands in the air as another caption asks: “Am I next?”
The video fades to black as another caption reads: “I am using my voice. Will you use yours?”
Gauff is just one of many celebrities adding their voice to the outrage after the unarmed Floyd died when Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nine minutes during an arrest. Chauvin was charged with Floyd’s murder on Saturday.
In a corresponding Instagram post, Gauff posted 24 photos of men and women of colour who have been killed because of their race and asked: “When will it stop? When will we be seen as human and not a threat? Rest in Peace to all of the beautiful souls whose lives were ended short due to racism. All lives will not matter until society proves they actually care about black lives.”
Fellow tennis star Naomi Osaka, who last week was revealed as the highest paid female athlete in history, is also playing her part as protests continue across America.
The two-time grand slam champion is in Minneapolis and uploaded a video to her Instagram story of her attending a protest.
Osaka has also repeated the same message several times on social media, saying: “Just because it isn’t happening to you doesn’t mean it isn’t happening at all.”
This story first appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission