19 time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal has made his first public comments on the ongoing protests in the United States after the death of George Floyd speaking to the international tennis media over Zoom. The World No. 2 Nadal spoke about the wave of protests sweeping across the United States over the past week.
"All the normal people and all the people who want a peaceful and good world, we are against racism, poverty, all the terrible stuff which is happening in this world more often than we would like. When you see all these disasters on the streets, my feeling is “that is not the way to protest”.
That’s not a good example. ‘The situation is critical but I really believe strongly in people and I really believe that we will be able to fix the problems. Everything takes time. All the improvements in our story, the human story, have taken time but we are getting there in all ways.
To be for everybody the same, for everybody to have the same opportunities, the same rights in terms of being protected. ‘Of course it’s not enough. Of course we have to keep working hard to make this world a better place but the situation is what it is.
Violence and pandemics like this today create a difficult climate, a difficult atmosphere for the world. ‘It’s important to stay calm, to respect everyone, to live together in peace. I respect every single opinion and every single thing that avoids violence because violence creates disasters."
Rafael Nadal speaks on the protests in the United States
Nadal had also posted a message of an empty black square on his social media account earlier this week to support the Blackout Tuesday movement, along with several other tennis players.
Several tennis stars such as Coco Gauff, Naomi Osaka and Frances Tiafoe have taken a very vocal stand about racial discrimination and urged people to raise awareness about the same and take action. Tiafoe also created a video which he posted on social media which featured several tennis players including Gauff, Osaka, Serena Williams, Gael Monfils, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Lori McNeil, Zina Garrison, MaliVai Washington and Heather Watson amongst others.
Rafael Nadal is considered to be among the greatest tennis players of all time. He has won 19 Grand Slam singles titles, which is second to the record held by Roger Federer, who has 20 Grand Slam titles. Nadal has also won a record 35 ATP Tour Masters 1000 titles, 21 ATP Tour 500 titles and the 2008 Olympic gold medal in singles.
He has also held the world No. 1 ranking for a total of 209 weeks, including being the year-end No. 1 five times. He has won a total of 85 ATP career titles in his career. He also won the Olympic doubles gold medal in 2016 with Marc Lopez.
Nadal is the second male player after Andre Agassi to complete the singles Career Golden Slam. He has also received the tour Sportsmanship Award three times and has been named the ATP Player of the Year five times and the ITF World Champion four times.