A Bloke Glued Himself To The Ground At US Open Semi-Final As A Protest Against Climate Change

Game, set, glue yourself to the floor? A bunch of climate protestors, including one fella who glued himself to the ground, were taken into police custody after delaying a US Open semi-final tennis match for nearly an hour on Thursday.

Coco Gauff and Karolina Muchova were just one game into the second set of their face-off when their match was halted for 50 minutes, after four protestors began chanting in the upper section of New York’s Arthur Ashe Stadium.

According to The Associated Press, Muchova first thought the commotion was “fans screaming, cheering”.

Security guards and more than half a dozen police officers confronted the protestors, who were wearing shirts that read, “End Fossil Fuels”.

The US Tennis Association (USTA) said three disruptors were escorted from the stadium without further hassle. However, it took longer for the fourth to be removed because he stuck his bare feet to the ground. And I’ve gotta hand it to him — you wouldn’t catch me dead with my tooties out on public display.

The USTA dished that the NYPD and medical personnel were integral in safely removing the fourth member of the group.

A group called Extinction Rebellion claimed responsibility for the protest.

One of the protestors, Ian, told The Associated Press that they believe the tennis tournament has sponsorship deals with corporations whose policies contribute to global warming.

“We are not trying to harm the athletes in any way. We have nothing against the sport,” he said. “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.”

While I’m all for people standing up for what they believe in, this lil’ hullaballoo seems a bit reductive, no? Staging a protest in support of the environment only to prolong the amount of time the US Open is using power, etc.?

US Open Tournament Director Stacey Allaster told ESPN that there’ll be a focus on preventing incidents like this moving forward.

“There’s no doubt in a 24,000-seat stadium people get ideas. We know environmental protestors use the platform [of events like this],” she said. “Certainly security will be resuming – along with law enforcement – to see what we can do to prevent it in the future.”

Tennis tournaments seem to be the target of environmental activists this year.

In July, two Wimbledon matches were halted when protestors jumped onto the court and scattered orange confetti on the grass.

At a US Open lead-up tournament in Washington in August, approximately a dozen people were urged to leave the site after chanting and displaying signs protesting the use of fossil fuels.

Anyway. Gauff and Muchova later returned to the court, and all was well as Gauff progressed to the final with a 6-4, 7-5 win over her Czech opponent.