After a long boycott of China, the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has decided to end its stance despite the fact that the organization’s demands over former player Peng Shuai’s welfare were not met. Peng, a former world No. 1 in doubles and a Wimbledon champion, caused a stir in November 2021 when she alleged on social media a relationship with a high-ranking Chinese official. Her post was immediately deleted, and Peng went missing from public view, causing concern in the tennis world. The WTA suspended all tournaments in the country because of the pandemic, but the organization said it would not return to China unless there was an independent investigation into Peng’s case and proof of her welfare. Although these conditions were not met, Steve Simon, WTA’s chief executive, acknowledged that the organization’s boycott had a negative impact on its revenue, prompting the decision to resume tournaments in China in the fall. Simon said that by returning, more progress could be made for Peng. However, human rights group Amnesty International expressed concerns, stating that returning to China without pushing for an independent investigation risked perpetuating systemic injustice.
WTA lifts boycott on China but promises to keep Peng Shuai in the spotlight.
- 6 May 2023
- 375 Views
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