‘Am I next?’ | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 31, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 31, 2020

‘Am I next?’

Gauff joins protests against killings of African-Americans

Teenage tennis phenomenon Coco Gauff released a video protesting killings of African-Americans in the United States on Friday, joining a chorus of outrage across the country that followed the death of an unarmed black man in Minneapolis.

Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was charged on Friday with murder in the death of 46-year-old George Floyd after cellphone footage of the white officer kneeling on Floyd's neck prompted a wave of protests.

Sixteen-year-old African-American Gauff said on Twitter this week she would "always use my platform to help make the world a better place," and on Friday called for action from others in a TikTok video posted to her Twitter account.

"This is why I am using my voice to fight against racism," the caption reads, as the video cuts to images of Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed black man whose shooting in Brunswick, Georgia, was also captured on video. Three white men were charged in his death earlier this month.

Gauff's video also includes a photo of Trayvon Martin, a black teenager whose killing helped spark the "Black Lives Matter" movement.

The words, "Am I next?" appear on screen, as Gauff, wearing a black hoodie, faces the camera and raises her hands.

"I am using my voice," the caption concludes, "Will you use yours?"

Gauff joins numerous other athletes, including basketball stars LeBron James and Lisa Leslie, who have spoken out following Floyd's death.

James posted a photo of the police officer kneeling on Floyd next to one of Kaepernick in a similar position before an NFL game. "This ... ... Is Why," James wrote in a post to his 65m Instagram followers. "Do you understand NOW!!??!!?? Or is it still blurred to you?? #StayWoke". Kaepernick also shared a version of James's photo on Instagram, as did Formula One world champion Hamilton.

Lebron also posted a photo of Floyd and the caption:  "We're hunted."

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