WTA suspends all tennis tournaments in China amidst concerns over Peng Shuai: Why it can affect all future tennis tournaments
The decision comes on the back of WTA’s concern over the safety and well-being of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai.
Peng Shuai had alleged serious crimes of sexual abuse against a leader of the Chinese Communist Party last month.
The allegations were crushed in the local media and Peng Shuai disappeared for over a week in the immediate aftermath.
The WTA along with several other organizations, fans, and international media followed up on the matter with great persistence.
Peng Shuai finally got on a video call with the International Olympic Committee, the recordings of which were shared by the Chinese government.
The WTA was less than satisfied with the recorded clips and demanded an in-person meet with the tennis star to verify her safety and well-being.
With China refusing to respond and calling the actions a “politicisation of the sport”, WTA took a major step to suspend all tennis tournaments in the country.
It will greatly affect the financial health of the WTA, which is heavily dependent on the lucrative tournaments that are held in China every year.
However, WTA Chief Steve Simon has said that he cannot prioritise business over the well-being of a human being.
Sports today has been commercialised to the hilt.
Tennis is no exception.
Hence, the development of women’s tennis across the world very much depends on the welfare of the business of WTA.
By suspending the cash-rich tournaments in China, the WTA stands to lose millions every year.
However, the decision taken by Simon is everything that any sport in the world stands for – unity.
The very soul of any match or tournament or contest is held in the sportsmanship shown, the competitiveness to win fairly, and the desire to unite millions to support the cause of another.
WTA’s decision to sacrifice their existence and the future of all tournaments over the safety of one of their own (Peng Shuai) will inspire many people and remind them that goodness still exists in this world.