Steve Simon pronounces WTA's resolution to droop tournaments in China – WTA Tennis

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Assertion by Steve Simon, WTA Chairman & CEO
“When on November 2, 2021, Peng Shuai posted an allegation of sexual assault in opposition to a prime Chinese language authorities official, the Ladies’s Tennis Affiliation acknowledged that Peng Shuai’s message needed to be listened to and brought severely. The gamers of the WTA, to not point out girls world wide, deserve nothing much less.
From that second ahead, Peng Shuai demonstrated the significance of talking out, significantly relating to sexual assault, and particularly when highly effective persons are concerned. As Peng mentioned in her submit, “Even whether it is like an egg hitting a rock, or if I’m like a moth drawn to the flame, inviting self-destruction, I’ll inform the reality about you.” She knew the hazards she would face, but she went public anyway. I love her energy and braveness.
Since then, Peng’s message has been faraway from the web and dialogue of this critical problem has been censored in China. Chinese language officers have been supplied the chance to stop this censorship, verifiably show that Peng is free and in a position to converse with out interference or intimidation, and examine the allegation of sexual assault in a full, truthful and clear method.  Sadly, the management in China has not addressed this very critical problem in any credible approach. Whereas we now know the place Peng is, I’ve critical doubts that she is free, secure and never topic to censorship, coercion and intimidation. The WTA has been clear on what is required right here, and we repeat our name for a full and clear investigation – with out censorship – into Peng Shuai’s sexual assault accusation.
None of that is acceptable nor can it change into acceptable. If highly effective individuals can suppress the voices of ladies and sweep allegations of sexual assault below the rug, then the idea on which the WTA was based – equality for girls – would endure an immense setback. I can’t and can’t let that occur to the WTA and its gamers. 
Consequently, and with the total help of the WTA Board of Administrators, I’m saying the fast suspension of all WTA tournaments in China, together with Hong Kong. In good conscience, I don’t see how I can ask our athletes to compete there when Peng Shuai is just not allowed to speak freely and has seemingly been pressured to contradict her allegation of sexual assault. Given the present state of affairs, I’m additionally tremendously involved concerning the dangers that each one of our gamers and employees might face if we had been to carry occasions in China in 2022.
I’ve been gratified by the large quantity of worldwide help the WTA has acquired for its place on this matter. To additional defend Peng and plenty of different girls all through the world, it’s extra pressing than ever for individuals to talk out. The WTA will do every thing potential to guard its gamers. As we achieve this, I hope leaders world wide will proceed to talk out so justice will be accomplished for Peng, and all girls, regardless of the monetary ramifications.
I very a lot remorse it has come up to now. The tennis communities in China and Hong Kong are filled with nice individuals with whom we now have labored for a few years. They need to be pleased with their achievements, hospitality and success. Nevertheless, until China takes the steps we now have requested for, we can not put our gamers and employees in danger by holding occasions in China. China’s leaders have left the WTA with no alternative. I stay hopeful that our pleas might be heard and the Chinese language authorities will take steps to legitimately handle this problem.”
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Elena Rybakina joins the WTA Insider podcast after her Wimbledon triumph to replicate on her extraordinary fortnight.
Elena Rybakina joins the WTA Insider podcast after her Wimbledon triumph to replicate on her extraordinary fortnight.


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