There were some folks in the stands during Coco Gauff and Karolína Muchovás semifinal showdown at the U.S. Open who were quite concerned about climate change.
A group of three people stood up in the crowd during the second set and began to chant “End Fossil Fuels.” The first two protestors were removed quickly, but one man glued his feet to the ground. Gauff could be seen sitting on the sidelines, eating fruit out of a container. Both players retreated to the locker room as the delay continued.
Police arrived to assist security, and in all, it took 45 minutes before he was removed and Gauff and Muchovás could warm up to resume play.
Chants of “Kick them out! Kick them out!” echoed across Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“As we witnessed we had environment protesters up in the loge area,” the tournament director, Stacey Allaster, told ESPN in a courtside interview. “When security got there they found one of the protesters had physically glued himself, his bare feet, to the cement floor.”
This isn’t the first time a tennis match has been interrupted by protestors recently. At Wimbledon two months ago, two matches were stopped when environmental activists stormed the court at Court 18 and scattered orange confetti on the grass. A climate change activist lit himself, and the court, on fire during the Laver Cup in September 2022.
At least the Open protestors didn’t enter the court. I’m all for Americans exercising their First Amendment rights, and this country certainly has plenty to demonstrate against, but the world is too dangerous to have unauthorized people where they should not be at sporting events.