“We need evidence, or else…”: WTA willing to pull out of China if Peng Shuai is not fully accounted for

WTA Chairman has made it crystal clear that the Association firmly stands with Peng Shuai and is willing to break all ties with China if her safety is not insured. Here's more

Steve Simon and Peng Shuai
Steve Simon and Peng Shuai

The world was in a state of shock when Peng Shuai, former World No. 1 tennis player in doubles, mysteriously disappeared. Credit goes to the Chinese authorities who thought it would be better to push the matter under the rug as soon as possible.

The Chinese government, known for taking such evasive action against people who voice their opinion against their tyrant regime followed the same path with Peng Shuai as well who made some serious allegations against a prominent leader of the Chinese Communist Party little while ago.

“Too many times, we let business, money, and politics dictate what’s right and what’s not”: WTA Chairman Steve Simon

Steve Simon
Steve Simon

Peng wrote about how she was abused and how everything transpired in a social media post on the Chinese social media platform Weibo, and as expected, was deleted very soon. Moreover, people were also unable to find Peng’s account on Weibo after the post disappeared.

As soon as the news broke, innumerable people, including many tennis stars voiced their concern about Peng’s safety. The good thing is, the tennis world seems united on this issue. Looking at how the world is coming together for Peng, WTA has also taken a strong stand.

Recently, Women’s Tennis Association Chairman and CEO Steve Simon told CNN’s Erin Burnett that the WTA is willing to pull out of China if Peng Shuai is not fully accounted for. Moreover, when he was reminded that there is a lot of money at stake, about a billion dollars, if WTA plans to take their business out of China, Simon claimed that the WTA is firm on what it has decided and is in no mood to back down.

Too many times, we let business, money, and politics dictate what’s right and what’s not,” he said. Simon went on to add that when a young talent like Peng gathers the courage to speak out despite knowing what the outcome will be, it is WTA’s duty to stand by her and ask for justice.

“I have a hard time believing that Peng Shuai actually wrote the email”: Steve Simon on Peng’s letter issued by Chinese media

Peng Shuai
Peng Shuai

The Chinese media issued a letter which was allegedly written by Peng claiming that she is safe and sound. However, Simon made it very clear that it is hard to believe that the letter was actually written by her. “The statement released by Chinese state media concerning Peng Shuai only raises my concerns as to her safety and whereabouts,” Steve had said about the letter.

I have a hard time believing that Peng Shuai actually wrote the email we received or believes what is being attributed to her. Peng Shuai displayed incredible courage in describing an allegation of sexual assault against a former top official in the Chinese government,” he added.

Moreover, Simon went on to add that after the letter came out, he tried reaching out to Peng to confirm she was doing well. However, all attempts to establish communication failed. “The WTA and the rest of the world need independent and verifiable proof that she is safe. I have repeatedly tried to reach her via numerous forms of communication, to no avail,” he had said.

Also read: “SHOCKING” Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai accuses former top Communist Party leader of sexual assault