Following her Friday victory over Aryna Sabalenka at the U.S. Open final, ESPN posted on X a video of Coco Gauff dropping to her knees on the side of the Arthur Ashe Stadium court and resting her head in her clasped hands.
According to ESPN’s SportsCenter, the 19-year-old was taking a minute to “soak it all in” after capturing her first Grand Slam title.
Not so, said former NFL coach Tony Dungy.
“I hate to break this to you SportsCenter but Coco Gauff was not ‘soaking it all in’ at this moment,” Dungy wrote on X. “She was praying. She has been very open about her Christian faith in the past. It seems pretty obvious what she is doing here.”
And that’s not ESPN’s only twisting of the truth.
X’s “Community Notes” wrote under the SportsCenter post that, not only was Gauff not “soaking it all in” after her win, the video clip of her praying was shot prior to her victory.
“This video shows the clip of Coco praying did not occur after the match,” the “context” note reads.
I hate to break this to you SportsCenter but Coco Gauff was not “soaking it all in” at this moment. She was praying. She has been very open about her Christian faith in the past. It seems pretty obvious what she is doing here. https://t.co/UOZ6zoCEPC
— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) September 10, 2023
Gauff’s 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 win garnered praise from the nation’s liberal elites: Former President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, and former President Bill Clinton.
Congratulations to US Open champion, @CocoGauff! We couldn’t be prouder of you on and off the court – and we know the best is yet to come.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) September 9, 2023
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) September 9, 2023
Congratulations Coco Gauff on your incredible victory in this year’s @usopen! The future of American tennis looks bright.
— Bill Clinton (@BillClinton) September 9, 2023
Couple that kind of attention with ESPN’s long history of “left-wing propaganda,” and it’s probably not surprising that SportsCenter simply made stuff up.
— BizPac Review (@BIZPACReview) August 11, 2023
Following her stunning loss earlier this summer to unranked American Sofia Kenin in the first round at Wimbledon, Gauff faced not only Sabalenka on Friday, she had to overcome the haters who flooded her with criticism.
“Up until 10 minutes before the match, I was reading comments from people saying I wasn’t going to win the match and it put the fire in me,” Gauff said in her on-court interview. “I can’t wait to look on Twitter right now.”
“Honestly, thank you to the people who didn’t believe in me,” Gauff said. “Like a month ago, I won a 500 title and people said I would stop at that. Two weeks ago, I won a 1000 title and people were saying that was the biggest I was going to get. So three weeks later, I’m here with this trophy right now. I tried my best to carry this with grace and I’ve been doing my best.”
“So, honestly, to those who thought who were putting water on my fire,” she added, “you were really adding gas to it. And now I’m really burning so bright right now.”
Coco is burning bright now pic.twitter.com/yWfHHbjNPE
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 9, 2023
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