Coco Gauff recounts disgusting racist experience she had at 12 in France

Gauff was hurt and cried but handled herself in the best way possible.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Coco Gauff recounts disgusting racist experience she had at 12 in France
© Getty Images Sport - Matthew Stockman

Coco Gauff claimed she was subjected to some pretty disgusting racial abuse when she was just 12 as she had orange peels thrown at her and called "monkey."

Gauff, who is now one of the most popular female Black athletes in the world, told TIME magazine that she was competing at a junior tournament in France eight years ago when a group of Croatian boys reportedly started mocking and insulting her over the color of her skin. The experience left Gauff shaken and she cried that night when thinking about what happened. 

Reflecting on that now, the 20-year-old American underlined that's something that just shouldn't be happening to anyone but also added that she has no hatred towards those individuals because they probably needed some guidance. 

"Then I just kind of got over it the next day. I just felt like that’s just something that people experience, which is not a great thing. They just probably didn’t grow up around other people that looked different. I don’t have any anger towards it. It was not an experience that defined me," Gauff told TIME.

Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff © Getty Images Sport - Alex Grimm
 

Gauff on dealing with doubters and critics

After Wimbledon, Gauff could read or hear some pretty harsh words and some claiming that she would never win a Grand Slam or that she was a bust. But then, Gauff responded by winning the US Open and becoming a Grand Slam champion. 

Now six months later, Gauff is again receiving criticism and being doubted but this time some have found some different reasons to criticize her.

This year, Gauff had some early exits but she also won Auckland and made the semifinals at the Australian Open and Indian Wells. 

“All the hate comes. People were like, ‘Oh, she’s burnt out, she’s this, she’s that.’ I’m like, ‘Oh my God,'" Gauff said.

“If I could win every match, I would. But I can’t. People don’t go to work and have a good day every day. We just have to all give each other grace.”

Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff © Getty Images Sport - Matthew Stockman
 

This week, Gauff is competing at the Madrid Open, where she is making her fourth appearance and hoping to make it past the round-of-16 for the first time in her career.

Coco Gauff
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