American tennis player Coco Gauff can improve the world, 18-time Grand Slam champion Martina Navratilova declared, lauding the teenage tennis prodigy for her role in the Black Lives Matter protests against racial injustice.
Gauff, 16, released a video on social media protesting for the murders of African Americans in the United States amid widespread outrage across the country following the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man in police custody in Minneapolis.
“She is just so poised on and off the court, she was brought up with great qualities and it shows how she plays, and it shows how she’s active now politically,” Navratilova told at BBC Radio.
“I smile so much when I see the reach she already has now, and she will have in the future. She’s one of those people that can change the world for the better, and she seems to want to do that.”
The brutal murder of George Floyd sparked worldwide protests against racism in many countries around the world and now calls for reforms of U.S. law enforcement.
Last month, Gauff was seen at a protest in her hometown of Delray Beach, Florida, in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Naomi Osaka, the world’s highest-paid sportswoman, and 23-times Grand Slam winner, Serena Williams, also made themselves heard regarding racial injustice.
Navratilova, who is openly gay, claimed it was vital for sports stars to speak out during this crucial time.
“Sports has always been at the forefront of social change and it can be that again, with Black Lives Matter and equality for all,” the 63-year-old explained.
Navratilova also felt that the tennis suspension due to the pandemic will not help the 38-year-old Williams, who is chasing Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slams.
“She’s getting older. Time is not her friend at the moment,” Navratilova pointed out. “She’s not going to play better than she did 10 years ago but if she plays as well as she did five years ago, then she’ll be okay.”