WTA halts all tennis tournament in China. It's time for other sports to do the same
I'm not going to say that Chinese people are bad because that is painting an awful lot of people with the same brush. I know Chinese people and I know non Chinese that have lived in China. The people are not the problem, their shady-as-hell government is the problem.
Personally, I can't understand how any company or government can maintain a friendly relationship with a country that basically brutally rules over its population and well, unless you have been living in a cave you are aware of the horrible things happening to the Uyghur people. The fact that companies and governments ignore this almost certainly has everything to do with the fact that China has become an economic powerhouse that they are all tied into. Sports don't have to be though and I applaud the fact that even though the Women's Tennis Association is a small aspect of the sporting world, that they have suspended all tournaments in China until further notice.
This took too long for it to happen but I am still glad it has happened. It all began when Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai mysteriously disappeared from the public eye after she came forward and started talking about how she was sexually abused by a high ranking ex-government official. She just went poof! and nobody in the press was able to contact her for weeks despite the fact that she is a top-ranked tennis player.
There was a lot of chatter about how she had been kidnapped by her government or was being reprimanded for daring to tarnish the "good name" of the Chinese government on a global scale even though I don't think there are very many people who actually think that China has a "good name" at all. Criticism of the government doesn't appear to be something that people are allowed to do over there even when it comes to cases of abuse of a quite famous athlete.
After her disappearance, weeks later this message was sent to the head of the WTA.
This could have been written by anyone or Peng could have been forced to write it. She has still made no public appearances and the world should be a lot more concerned about this than they have been. Thankfully, most journalists and people in the public eye that aren't already bought by China (I'm looking at you LeBron and most of the rest of the NBA!) were quick to dismiss this letter as not genuine.
This is a lot like people who say things about the Clintons mysteriously committing suicide all of a sudden and it will be interesting to see what China does moving forward with this. Will they pretend to punish the ex-government official? Will they have handlers travel with Peng in future tournaments? I wouldn't bank on them actually coming clean about anything, that's for sure.
I am hopeful that other sporting organizations will follow suit including a boycott of the Olympics in 2022. There is already a bunch of chatter about athletes boycotting the games even if their governments wont. I wouldn't count on governments doing the right thing here, so it will be up to the individuals to do so.
The movement to boycott the 2022 Olympic games is of course being suppressed by the media who almost certainly has financial ties to China in one way or another. In fact, major news outlets are already producing articles explaining why boycotting the games would be counter-productive. They say the same thing about Qatar even though the human-rights violations are extremely evident in that case as well. We can't count on the media to do anything about it, so it is on us to do so. Please encourage everyone to join this movement in shunning China until they seriously change their ways. It is alarming to me that our governments remain friendly with such a horrible regime.