Teenage tennis sensation Coco Gauff delivers powerful racial injustice speech at Florida protest following death of George Floyd

16-year-old Gauff delivered a powerful speech in her hometown of Delray Beach, Florida
16-year-old Gauff delivered a powerful speech in her hometown of Delray Beach, Florida (Zuma Press/PA Images)
9:01am, Thu 04 Jun 2020
CBAD8A00-D2B9-4E0E-ADDF-D0366C357A34 Created with sketchtool. E9A4AA46-7DC3-48B8-9CE2-D75274FB8967 Created with sketchtool. 65CCAE04-4748-4D0F-8696-A91D8EB3E7DC Created with sketchtool.

Teenage tennis star Coco Gauff has delivered a passionate speech on racial injustice during a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest in Delray Beach, Florida.

The 16-year-old was speaking in the wake of the death of George Floyd and called for an emphasis on love, education and immediate voting action then finished by urging people to speak out against racial inequality.

She said: "I think it’s sad that I’m here protesting the same thing that (my grandmother) did 50-plus years ago," she said.

"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.

“Second, we need to take action,” she urged.

"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."

Her final plea was for fellow activists to make themselves heard.

“Third, you need to use your voice,” she said, adding: "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."

She finished by saying: “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? 

"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."

Sign up to our newsletter