Women’s tennis can teach the NBA and the International Olympic Committee the courage of China’s position

If Thomas Bach or Adam Silver needs some advice on defending human rights rather than the bottom line, they should call Steve Simon Ended the women’s tennis tournament.

Finally, someone picked Wannengyuan over.

Bravely step into the realm of Bach’s IOC and silver NBA Resolutely avoid—not to mention other sports organizations and countless corporate giants—WTA has suspended China Because he cares about Grand Slam doubles champion Peng Shuai.

SimonThe president and CEO of WTA, alone on the backbone island, takes a position that will undoubtedly cause a huge financial blow to the organization that once played a major role in the lucrative Chinese market.

Don’t expect others to follow.

Simon Confessed a lot, emphasized he There is no attempt to influence decisions made by other sports or regulatory agencies.

but his The organization must take a stand, he Said after Peng accused a former senior Communist Party official of sexual assault.

“I don’t want to send information to any other sports organizations or influence their decisions or evaluate their decisions,” Simon Said. “I think it goes beyond this point, and obviously it is very, very sensitive to women on a global scale. Therefore, as a leading women’s sports organization and having a direct impact on this, we focus on this.”

In the past month, Peng’s health has always been a concern around the world, and current and former players have called on the Chinese authorities to let her speak freely.

Her allegations of sexual assault were quickly removed from Chinese social media. In addition to several carefully planned appearances, she also withdrew from public view. These appearances seemed to be nothing more than propaganda by the authoritarian regime.

With the opening of the Winter Olympics in Beijing in two months, the IOC is most likely to compete with the Chinese.

But Bach didn’t want to mess with his billion-dollar fool, so he was happy to play with a pair of Peng’s video calls arranged by the government. These calls were supposed to quell international protests, but instead made her sound more like a hostage.

Dick Pound, a long-time member of the International Olympic Committee, also participated. Although he said that everyone in the organization thought Peng was “good,” he may have been auditioning to become a spokesperson for the Chinese government.

In an interview with CNN, Pound said: “These people have dealt with athletes and have been under pressure.” “They can judge whether someone is coerced.

“Their unanimous conclusion is that she is fine. She is only asking for respect for her privacy for the time being.”

Of course, Bach and the International Olympic Committee are just imitating the blueprint drawn up by the International Olympic Committee. NBA, Which got caught from China -Its largest overseas market-after former Houston Rockets general manager Darryl Morey released a tweet in 2019 in support of anti-government protesters in Hong Kong.

As a leader in the struggle for social justice in the United States, NBA The attitude towards the Chinese is much more cautious.

The league called the commotion caused by Morey’s tweets “regrettable” and has tried to make up for Silver’s estimated financial losses of hundreds of millions of dollars in the past two years.

WTA has almost no financial influence of the International Olympic Committee or the International Olympic Committee NBA, But it still chose to confront the Chinese because of Peng’s whereabouts.

The governing body said it will not back down until it talks directly with Peng and the government agrees to conduct a full and impartial investigation of her allegations of assault.

This position is one of the bravest positions in the history of sports. For example, Muhammad Ali refused to enter the post during the Vietnam War, Tommy Smith and John Carlos raised their fists at the 1968 Summer Olympics, and Colin Kaepernick said Social justice is kneeling.

“The WTA is on the right side of history in supporting our players,” tennis pioneer Billy Jean King wrote on Twitter. “This is another reason why women’s tennis is leading the way in women’s sports.”

Simon Quickly pointed out that this was not a one-person decision. he Said he With the full support of the WTA board of directors, players, tournaments and sponsors, this decision may extend beyond 2022.

This is certainly not a small move. WTA hosts about 10 games every year China, Including the tour finals at the end of the season, where it is planned to be staged for ten years.

“I don’t know how to give you some practical results, but it will definitely reach millions of dollars,” Simon Said. “This is a problem that we will have to manage and work hard to solve. But I believe we will find a way to manage and solve it.”

Sadly, no one else is willing to follow suit-even in the tennis world.

The chief executives of the International Tennis Federation and the Men’s ATP Tour, which oversee the global Grand Slam tournaments and other events, all issued statements on Thursday.

None mentioned China Or WTA is suspended.

The right side of history may be a lonely place.

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.

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