There have been widespread protests across United States as Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed black American, was killed by a white police officer. Sports personalities around the world have called for justice and have voiced their support to the protests.
Gauff took to TikTok after the incident, posting a video asking if she will be the next victim of police brutality. Twenty three-time Grand Slam-winner Serena Williams, former world No 1 Naomi Osaka, basketball stars Michael Jordan and Lebron James among others have rallied behind the movement.
Here’s the full text of Gauff’s speech, calling for a change, and urging people around the world to not stay silent in the wake of Floyd’s death.
I am with my grandma. It’s sad that I am protesting the same thing that she did fifty-plus years ago.
I must tell you that we must first love each other, no matter what. We must have tough conversations with our friends. I have been having conversations with all my non-black friends on how they can help the movement.
I am not eligible but this is a chance for you to vote for my future, my brother’s future and yours. That is one way to make a change. You need to use your voice, how big or small the platform is. I saw a quote from Dr [Martin Luther] King that said: “The silence of the good people is worse than the brutality of the bad people.”
You shouldn’t be silent. If you choose to be silent, you are choosing the side of the oppressor. I have heard many things over this past week and one of them was: ‘It’s not my problem’.
If you listen to black music, if you like black culture and have black friends, then this is your fight too. It is not your duty to say that ‘some of my favourite artists are black but I don’t care what happened to George Floyd.’
How does that makes sense?
I demand change now. It’s sad that it takes another black man’s life to be lost for all of this to happen. You have to understand that this has been happening for years and not just to George Floyd. This is about a Trayvon Martin, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner...I was eight years-old when Trayvon Martin was killed. Here I am, at 16, still demanding change. I am doing this for my future kids and grandchildren. I promise to always use my platform to spread vital information.”
Watch Gauff’s speech here: