Coco Gauff tells Roger Federer of practical ways he could support protesters' fight for justice

Simon Briggs
Cori Gauff of the U.S. celebrates during the match against Venus Williams at the Australian Open - HANNAH MCKAY/Reuters

Coco Gauff, the 16-year-old, emerging star of tennis, continues to show a strong political consciousness in her social-media activity.

When Roger Federer posted a black square on his Instagram feed, in support of protesters in the United States, Gauff replied with a more detailed list of practical ways in which people might be able to help the cause.

The list of options – which had been compiled by the Black Lives Matter movement – included “Sign petitions”, “Text or call”, “Donate” and “More resources for protesters”. At the top of the post, a message encouraged readers: “Educate yourself [because] this doesn’t go away once the topic isn’t ‘trending.”

Along with her friend and rival Naomi Osaka, Gauff has been one of the most outspoken players on the subject of America’s recent race riots.

Both women appeared in a video fronted by Frances Tiafoe with the slogan “Racquets Down, Hands Up”. Released at the weekend, it featured black players, commentators and administrators making a stand against racial inequality, including Serena Williams, Gaël Monfils and British No2 Heather Watson.

All of the “Big Three” men posted the same image on Tuesday: a black square, which Novak Djokovic supplemented with the hashtag #BlackoutTuesday. Yet some questioned why none of them had made any comments in their own words, or even simply posted a link to the Tiafoe video.

On her Twitter feed, Osaka wrote “I’m torn between roasting people for only posting the black square this entire week ... Or, accepting that they could’ve posted nothing at all so I should deal with this bare minimum bread crumb they have given.”

This message followed on from Osaka’s previous impassioned posts from last week. “Just because it isn’t happening to you,” she wrote, “doesn’t mean it isn’t happening at all.” She also retweeted a powerful quote from Martin Luther King: “There comes a time when silence is betrayal.”