I was once a victim of mistaken identity, racial treatment – Taylor Townsend

by Abdulmumeen S. Yitta
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Source: Sky Sports

The American world number 73, Taylor Townsend, has disclosed that at one point or the other she has been mistaken for other American female black tennis players.

Townsend disclosed this in a Tennis United video posted on Youtube on Sunday 7th June, 2020.

While speaking about Gorge Floyd death, an unarmed African-American man who was murdered bya Minneapolis police officer, said, “Everybody sees a black person and they assume that it’s Venus or Serena (Williams) or Sloane (Stephens).”

“I’ve been literally all of them down the list except for myself,” added Townsend.

She also said that people have argued with her that she must be the rising US star 16-year-old Coco Gauff.

“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,” she said.

Townsend also said that tennis world not a united place as she said that she gets special attention and is always treated differently by security at tournaments.

“Even in the tennis world it is not a united place,” Townsend revealed.

“Even from the aspect 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 continued.

Townsend also hinted on the kind of subjugation the black community has been subjected to, the frequent killing of the black in the street, and how they are being made to undervalue their own identity.

“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,” she lamented.

She further noted that what happens to the black community is an uncomfortable situation that has been in place for far too long.

Speaking about this she said, “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.

“This is our reality. It happens all the time – week in, week out, every tournament that I play in the States, overseas, it doesn’t matter.”

Sounding rather pessimistic, she however noted that the situation might not change quite soon, but she is hopeful that the level of awareness on what the black community goes through could be raised to some desirable level.

“It’s not going to change. I don’t expect it to change. Hopefully, this (Black Lives Matter protests) just creates a safe space and an awareness for people to want to talk about it. To be able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes,” she said.

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