Tuesday, May 17

Peng Shuai message banned at Australian Open: – Pity

The organizers of the Australian Open do not allow T-shirts that support Peng Shuai. Former world star Martina Navratilova (65) reacts strongly.

Several are reacting to Tennis Australia’s handling of the Peng Shuai case.

The Australian Tennis Association, Tennis Australia, organizes the Grand Slam tournament which takes place in Melbourne. The decision is defended by the fact that clothing or banners that are of a political nature are not permitted.

Before the weekend, security people prayed a spectator in Melbourne to remove a t-shirt with the text: “Where is Peng Shuai?”

– It is pathetic, writes former world number one Martina Navratilova Twitter.

The tennis icon also participated in the Tennis Channel studio where she embroidered:

– It is not a political message. It is a message about human rights. They (the organizers) completely capitulate in this matter and let the Chinese dictate what to do. I think it is very weak, said Navratilova.

Peng disappeared from the public eye for several weeks in November after she accused a former Chinese top politician of committing sexual abuse against her for several years. Later, she appeared again, and she withdrew the accusations, saying she had been misunderstood.

Dropped tournaments

The Women’s International Tennis Federation (WTA) responded by dropping all scheduled tournaments in China and Hong Kong in 2022 because of the case.

The Chinese government has snorted at the WTA’s boycott and branded the whole Peng case as “malicious hype”.

– China is strongly opposed to actions that politicize sports, the country’s foreign ministry has stated.

The WTA has still not met 35-year-old Peng face to face. According to the BBC, the organization is still concerned about Peng’s freedom in his native China.

– Lack of courage

It is not just Navratilova who has reacted to Tennis Australia’s handling of the Peng Shuai case:

– What’s up? What a lack of courage! What if you did not have Chinese sponsors? writes the French tennis player Nicolas Mahut on Twitter.

Navratilova has previously supported Peng in this case. Navratilova won 18 Grand Slam titles during her active tennis career. The first came in the Wimbledon tournament in 1978, while the last she achieved the same place in 1990.


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