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Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, others join George Floyd campaign, condemn racial abuse

By News Desk

As protests continue over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in United States (US) police custody, tennis players, Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal, and Novak Djokovic were among the sportsmen and women that joined the campaign, #BlackOutTuesday, to express their displeasure against racial injustice across the world.

Other tennis stars that joined the trio in the campaign were Grand Slam winners Maria Sharapova, Petra Kvitova and Stan Wawrinka were among other players who signalled their support for the campaign.

African-American teenage phenomenon Coco Gauff and Japan’s Naomi Osaka have also expressed their anger over Floyd’s death.

They joined the campaign barely a week after Floyd died following a policeman action, pinning his neck under a knee for nearly nine minutes in Minneapolis last month.

Men’s world No. 1 Djokovic posted black screenshots on his Twitter and Instagram pages with the message “Black Lives Matter”, and was joined by Federer and Nadal, the other members of the “Big Three” of men’s tennis.

Replying to Federer’s Instagram post, the 16-year-old Gauff commented: “Click the link in my bio to get resources on HOW YOU CAN HELP! THANK YOU.”

Osaka, whose father is Haitian and mother is Japanese, said people should be doing more than posting “the black square”.

“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,” she posted on Twitter.

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) posted a black screenshot as well as a statement against racism on its social media handles.

USTA said it was “extremely disappointed, angry, and heartbroken” at the hardships faced by communities of colour in the United States.

“The African-American community is an integral part of our tennis family and the USTA stands unwaveringly against racism and injustice of any kind,” USTA, organisers of the U.S. Open Grand Slam, added.

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