08 June 2020

Taylor Townsend on how she’s always mistaken for other black tennis players as ‘all of us look the same’

American tennis star Taylor Townsend has said she gets mistaken for other black players all the time.

In a Tennis United video, Townsend spoke about her own experiences with racism amid the US protests sparked by the death of George Floyd.

She said: “Even in the tennis world it is not a united place. We lose our identity of who we are because there can only be one.

“I’ve had people argue with me to tell me that I’m Coco Gauff. I’m not Coco Gauff but all of us look the same, all of us are built the same, everybody sees a black person and they assume it’s Venus or Serena (Williams) or Sloane (Stephens). 

“Even from the aspect of, you walk through and nobody stops you and I’m walking through and somebody has to check my bag, check my credential, check my coach’s bag, check my coach’s credential.

"It’s extra-security, extra-precautions that need to be taken to make sure I belong.”

She also spoke about how the black community’s identity has been ’robbed’ in the US.

“The black community has been suppressed, our identity has been robbed from us. Black men are being gunned down and killed in the middle of the street in broad daylight from police officers.

“This is our reality and this is the reality that we’ve been having to deal with for so long, of people not being comfortable with you."

The 24 year-old reached the second round of the Australian Open back in January and is currently ranked World No 73.

Her best placing in a Grand Slam came in 2014 when she reached the semi-final of the mixed doubles at the US Open with fellow American Donald Young.

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