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Tennis star Coco Gauff tells AP it’s a “crazy time” to be a Black Floridian

Coco Gauff of the U.S. celebrates after her their third round match of the French Open tennis tournament against Ukraine's Dayana Yastremska at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Friday, May 31, 2024. AP PHOTO / CHRISTOPHE ENA

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Tennis star Coco Gauff’s comments about politics in her home state of Florida to the AP’s Andrew Dampf in Rome resonated strongly back home, particularly in the Black community. 

AP sports writer Andrew Dampf got a chance to speak with Gauff during the WTA tennis tournament in Rome and made the most of the opportunity. The interview was meant to be a setup for the French Open, but Dampf also asked Gauff a couple of questions about politics, knowing she had been outspoken before. 

Using his cell phone to record the interview on video, Dampf asked the 20-year-old tennis star about the political situation in her home state of Florida where a two-year-long controversy over banning books from the state’s schools started with a bill signed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. 

Gauff said it was a “crazy time” to be a Black Floridian, voiced dissatisfaction “with the current state of our government” and encouraged people to vote. 

Her comments elicited a strong response in the U.S. after AP posted a video clip from the interview on X. Many Black advocacy and social justice groups voiced support for Gauff.  

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