Tiafoe on racism in tennis and protests in the US

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Frances Tiafoe

In an interview with CNN’s Christina Macfarlane, US tennis star Frances Tiafoe says a lack of diversity in the sport makes him feels like an "outsider."

As one of very few black men in the tennis top 100, 22-year-old Tiafoe believes he's had to work twice as hard to reach the elite level.

The current world No. 81 credits the impact the Williams sisters have had on the game but stresses more needs to be done to address the balance, including the resources available to reach the top of the game.

Tiafoe also speaks about his collaboration with a host of black players and coaches — such as Serena Williams and Coco Gauff — on the "Racquets down, hands up" video he uploaded to his social media channels. The excerpts

Tiafoe on the lack of diversity in tennis and how its impact:

"I feel more and more as an outsider as I get success, you know... Of course, I get a ton of recognition and people love the change. I definitely feel in some ways that not everybody wants to see that success in me. I feel like I'm taking something from someone that may have liked to do that, and not me. I definitely felt that because ultimately, they don't want us in power. I truly think that's a thing."

Tiafoe on the need for financial equality in tennis:

“It’s so much cash just to play. If we can really focus in on that, because I mean — look at how many amazing black athletes there are. Just look at Serena and Venus — freak athletes who achieved unbelievable things. Imagine if you have more black people playing. Imagine you can have more people like them, changing worlds and changing cultures.”

Tiafoe on his "Racquets down, hands up" video along with his girlfriend and tennis player Ayan Broomfield:

“It was unbelievable, and I’m happy to see everybody participated. If you’re not coming together right now and trying to speak out and trying to really get good quality messages out, I don’t think there ever will be a time... I think if more people who have weight, who have a big platform, speak out then I think change can happen and you can be optimistic. Obviously, you see everything going on in America right now, I think it's a good idea to come together right now and try to speak out."

Tiafoe on the protests against police brutality in the United States:

"I love the protests, I think it's great but, at the same time, amazing cities that have been there for many, many years, to see them like that hurts me. I personally don't think [looting is] the answer. I don't condone it but at the same time, I get the frustrations. It's a hand-in-hand thing." — CNN Sport


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