Coco Gauff’s US Open semifinal match is STOPPED for 50 minutes by UK group, Extinction Rebellion, as one protestor GLUES HIS FEET to floor at Arthur Ashe Stadium
- The match was suspended for more than 49 minutes with Gauff up 6-4 1-0
- It was largely caused by one protestor’s decision to secure himself to the floor
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Protestors brought a halt to Coco Gauff’s US Open semifinal match vs. Karolina Muchova, resulting in a nearly hour-long delay after a fossil fuel protestor glued his feet to the concrete inside Arthur Ashe stadium.
With the American leading 6-4 1-0, protestors caused a stoppage to the delicately poised matchup. Astoundingly, 49 minutes had passed before the game was restarted.
The ESPN broadcast cut away from the event as two men and one woman made a stance against the usage of fossil fuels. The three were wearing shirts emblazoned with ‘end fossil fuels’ and the extinction rebellion logo.
Chants of ‘get them out’ could be heard with one of the males, wearing a gray t-shirt refusing to be taken away. He was handcuffed by NYPD after securing himself to the floor inside the stadium. Eventually, he was escorted out by police after they determined it would be safe for the protestor.
The other two were removed peacefully from the stadium some 20 minutes earlier. The triumvirate could be heard screaming ‘end fossil fuels’, so much so that it disrupted play. NYPD has now been called into the stadium.
Three protestors were responsible for an extraordinary delay during the U.S. Open semifinal
The most troublesome protestor of the trident glued his feet to the concrete floor beneath him
The protestor glued his feet to the concrete inside Arthur Ashe Stadium late on Saturday night
There was mass confusion as to why the individual in grey was not removed more swiftly
The man pictured in the grey t-shirt, alongside the woman in yellow, screamed ‘end fossil fuels’
According to AP, one of the protesters, who identified himself only as Ian, said they wanted the U.S. Open to be accountable because it has sponsors who are large corporations whose policies are contributing to global warming.
‘We are not trying to harm the athletes in any way. We have nothing against the sport, but we are really trying to draw attention to an issue here that there will be no tennis left for anybody in the world to enjoy,’ he said.
Gauff was clearly frustrated by the delay and did not want to go off, initially asking why they were ‘negotiating’ with the protesters and sarcastically asking if it was a ‘hostage situation’.
Her coach Brad Gilbert shouted down to Tournament Referee ‘this is a joke!’. However it then became clear that the situation was more complicated as one protester chose glue instead of shoes as his preferred footwear, which was confirmed by a USTA spokesperson.
The polarizing trio are part of the disruptive Extinction Rebellion Group, as displayed on their t-shirts. The aim of the politically-charged entity is to cause civil disobedience as a means of spotlighting issues relating to supposed environmental degradation.
Both players were left to keep themselves occupied in the tournament gym, with Gilbert giving Gauff a pep talk. Gauff was finally recalled to the court 42 minutes after the last point had been played.
Naturally, many around the trio in the nosebleeds were disgruntled at the boorish behavior.
Spectators jeered, booed and yelled various orders such as ‘sit down’, even saying ‘you suck’ to the troublesome trio.
Coco Gauff was clearly frustrated by the delay and did not want to go off the court up one set
While ESPN provided a vague description, they did acknowledge it was an ‘environmental protest.’
Gauff sat on her sideline bench for a bit during the break in the match, eating fruit out of a plastic container, before then getting some tennis balls and hitting a few practice serves. Muchova was briefly visited by a trainer during the interruption.
Later, both players headed toward the locker room as the delay continued. Gauff sat on a treadmill, a towel draped over her lap, while chatting with members of her team.
It is the latest in a recent series of protests at sporting events – and tennis, in particular – related to the use of fossil fuels.
At Wimbledon in July, two matches were interrupted when environmental activists jumped out of the stands at Court 18 and scattered orange confetti on the grass.
At a U.S. Open tune-up tournament in Washington last month, about a dozen people were asked to leave the site after chanting and displaying signs protesting the use of fossil fuels.
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