Tennis: France's last Slam winner Noah blasts white 'silence' over racism

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jun 08 2020 09:51 AM

Tennis: France's last Slam winner Noah blasts white 'silence' over racism 1
France's team captain Yannick Noah (L) gestures as he cheers French Lucas Pouille during the single tennis match against Croatian player Marin Cilic as part of the Davis Cup final between France and Croatia, on November 25, 2018 in Lille, northern France. Philippe Huguen, AFP.

PARIS, France -- Yannick Noah, the last French winner of a Grand Slam tennis title, on Sunday lashed out at "the silence" of his white compatriots over racism.

Noah said he was concerned that the sportsmen in France condemning police brutality and discrimination in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd in the United States were all black.

The 60-year-old, a son of a Cameroonian father and French mother, saluted the stands taken by fellow tennis players Gael Monfils and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga as well as World Cup winning footballer Kylian Mbappe.

"It's good that the young people are involved, but what bothers me is that they are all either mixed-race or black," Noah, who captured the Roland Garros title in 1983, told France 2 television.

"Why? It's an injustice which should make everyone aware. I am certain that in general police do a very good job but there are bad apples." 

Noah said it was important that white sports stars in France also got involved in protests.

"Yes, because their silence bothers me, but it goes further than that". 

He added: "What reassures me is that we speak quickly enough of injustice. Yes, it happens all the time.

"But there are also now young white people, a young generation who realise that this is their future and they do not want to live in this world."

© Agence France-Presse

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