Former French Open champion Yannick Noah says that more white athletes in France should highlight the issue of racism after the death of George Floyd in the United States which has led to protests around the world against the racial discrimination against black Americans.
France's Yannick Noah on the current protests
Speaking on the France 2 television channel, the 1983 French open champion Yannick Noah, who is the son of a Cameroonian father and French mother, said, "It’s good that the young people are involved, but what bothers me is that they are all either mixed-race or black.
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 athletes in France also got involved in protests.
"Yes, because their silence bothers me, but it goes further than that. 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”.
Earlier, six-time British F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton had also made similar comments as did the 2014 German world football champion Jerome Boateng. In the tennis world, most of the players who have spoken out against the issue have come from the black community such as Serena Williams, Coco Gauff, Frances Tiafoe, Taylor Townsend.
Naomi Osaka, who was born in Japan to a Haitian father and a Japanese mother and has lived and trained in the United States since she was three years old, has also spoken out widely against the issue in recent days. Several tennis stars across all nations had supported the Blackout Tuesday movement on social media last week.
Yannick Noah's career, which spanned almost two decades, saw him capture a total of 23 singles titles and 16 doubles titles, reaching a career-high singles ranking of world No. 3 in July 1986 and World No. 1 doubles also in 1986.
Since his retirement from the game, Noah has been involved in music and is also the co-founder of a charity organization for underprivileged children. Noah was regarded as one of the most popular players during his time.