Coco Gauff's Twitter video
Coco Gauff's Twitter video Image Credit: Twitter

Young American tennis star Coco Gauff has spoken out about the killing of African-Americans in the US, following the death of an unarmed black man in Minneapolis under police custody.

George Floyd, aged 46, died on Monday evening shortly after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, held him down with a knee on his neck, even while Floyd repeatedly pleaded: “I can’t breathe.”

Chauvin was arrested earlier on Friday and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter amid a national outrage following Floyd’s death.

On Friday, Gauff posted a TikTok video on her official Twitter handle in which she said she would “always use my platform to help make the world a better place”.

“This is why I am using my voice to fight against racism,” the caption reads in the video posted by her as it cuts to images of Floyd and others.

The video also includes a picture of Trayvon Martin, a teenager whose death spurred a nationwide movement in the US and gave rise to a rallying cry “Black Lives Matter”.

The words, “Am I next?” appear on screen in the video, as the 16-year-old Gauff, wearing a black hoodie, faces the camera and raises her hands. “I am using my voice,” the caption concludes, “Will you use yours?”

Minneapolis has been severely damaged after three nights of protests and riots, with fires burning and businesses looted. Protests over Floyd’s death continued on Friday night in Minneapolis and a number of other cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver, Phoenix and Memphis, local media reported, adding that more demonstrations were expected to take place across the country through the weekend.