Coco Gauff had just begun the second set of her 6-4, 7-5 semifinal win over Karolína Muchová at the U.S. Open on Thursday when some climate change activists decided to cause a scene.
Three protestors wearing “End Fossil Fuels” t-shirts were yelling and causing a disturbance in the stands, which is a huge violation of tennis spectator code (fans are supposed to be quiet until a volley ends). One of the guys in the group glued his shoes to the concrete floor of the stands in the name of stopping fossil fuels - which is, of course, the foolproof way of accomplishing that goal.
The whole interruption lasted around 45 minutes, which many of the fans did not appreciate.
You would think that if the fans were upset, the women playing the match would be as well. But for Gauff, the opposite was true.
“Throughout history, moments like this are definitely defining moments,” Gauff later said. “I believe in climate change. I don’t really know exactly what they were protesting. I know it was about the environment. I 100% believe in that.”
“I wasn’t pissed at the protestors. I know the stadium was because it just interrupted entertainment,” she added. “I always speak about preaching what you feel and what you believe in. It was done in a peaceful way, so I can’t get too mad at it.”
I’m not sure exactly why Gauff thinks this could be a defining moment. All that happened was a few attention seekers yelled for a while about an issue no one cares about. No matter how many of these protests we see, it’s not going to change whether or not the world stops using fossil fuels as a source of energy.
Its a good thing Gauff doesn’t rely on her views on climate change to win matches, because she wouldn’t have a very successful career if she did.