Reporter says Coco Gauff is compared a lot to Serena Williams ‘because you’re Black’
“You are often compared to the Williams sisters. Maybe it’s because you’re Black. But I guess it’s because you’re talented and maybe American too," said the reporter
Coco Gauff is receiving praise for her response to an odd question from a reporter.
During a recent press conference at the French Open, a reporter compared the rising Atlanta, Georgia tennis star to Serena Williams simply because she is Black. Gauff’s response was as swift and seamless as her backhand stroke.
“You are often compared to the Williams sisters. Maybe it’s because you’re Black. But I guess it’s because you’re talented and maybe American too,” said the reporter, per YahooSport.
They continued with: “We could have a final between you and Serena. Is it something you hope for? I mean, 22 years separate you girls.”
The teen responded with grace.
“Playing Serena in the final would be great (smiling). That’s the dream that I have always dreamed about, playing her in a final,” said the 17-year-old.
“But yeah, I mean, people compare me to them a lot, and I think it’s a compliment, but for me I just focus on being myself because I’m never going to be Serena Williams and Serena will never be me because we are two different people.”
Gauff, who is the youngest player Women’s Tennis Association top 100 finished off her response by reiterating that she is her own person.
“We have two different brains. I understand why people compare us, but I think it’s just important that I want to be known as Coco. I don’t want to be known as Serena Williams’ heir, or Serena Williams’ next thing. I just want to be known as Coco Gauff.”
Fans were taken back by the reporter and said the inappropriate question is the exact reason sports players do not always enjoy speaking to reporters. Naomi Osaka recently made headlines after refusing to speak to reporters at the French Open, causing her to be hit with a $15K fine.
“Not that Naomi Osaka needs any vindication — because I don’t know anybody who wants to talk to THE PRESS after a bad day at work — but journalists can’t ask foolish questions and then wonder why athletes don’t wanna talk to them,” commented a user.
Another added: “But, really, no one should have to handle a question like that. If Naomi stays away forever, i get it and I am in full support.”
As theGrio previously reported, Osaka recently decided to decline to speak with reporters during her latest Grand Slam tournament.
Osaka said she will not be taking part in any post-game interviews at the 2021 French Open being held at Stade Roland-Garros in Paris, France for the sake of her mental health.
Japan’s Osaka shared her intentions in a lengthy social media post.
“I am writing this to say that I am not going to do any press during Roland Garros,” the 23-year-old stated.
“I have often felt that people have no regard for athletes’ mental health and this rings true whenever I see a press conference or partake in one,” Osaka continued. “We’re often sat there and asked questions that we’ve been asked multiple times before or asked questions that bring doubt into our minds and I am not going to subject myself to people who doubt me.”
The four-time Grand Slam winner shared that she’d witnessed other athletes “breaking down in a press room after a loss.” She’s been through similar pangs of hurt and chastised the process as “kicking a person while they’re down and I don’t understand the reasoning behind it.”
Additional reporting by Stephanie Guerilus
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