China’s human rights spokesperson advises against believing the alleged letter and asks Serena Williams not to keep quiet about the case.
The world of sports, especially tennis, has been paralyzed by the disappearance of former Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai.
The message was published on November 2, 2021, and minutes later was removed from the Weibo platform, which is considered China’s equivalent of Twitter. Since that day, her whereabouts are unknown.
On Wednesday, November 17, a television network affiliated with the Chinese government released a suspected message written in an email. But far from reflecting tranquility, the emails beget suspicion, as various authorities believe Peng Shuai did not actually write the message.
The question lies in the presence of the edit cursor on the third line of text. “It’s hard to believe that Peng Shuai actually wrote the email.” WTA Executive Director Steve Simon assured that he had attempted to contact the player through various means, but had received no response.
human rights don’t believe letters
A lawyer for a group of human rights defenders in China argued that given the background of the Chinese government, the e-mail message, whether written by Peng Shuai or not, should not be believed.
“The Chinese government has a long history of arbitrarily arresting those involved in controversial incidents, controlling their ability to speak freely, and releasing what was inevitably communicated.” He said.
Tennis world’s concerns about Peng Shuai
One of the first tennis players to speak out about the situation was Japan’s Naomi Osaka.Censorship is never okay at any cost. I hope Peng Shuai and her family are safe and well.I am shocked by the current situation and am sending him my love and lighting her way,” she said.
For hours, other tennis players, including Serena Williams, have expressed concern over the former Chinese tennis player who asked not to remain silent about the incident and demanded the situation be investigated.
“I am devastated and shocked to hear the news of my partner, Peng Shuai. I hope she is safe and found as soon as possible. Sending love to her and her family during this incredibly difficult time.” said on social media.
But solidarity comes not only from women’s tennis players, but also from ATP players like Germany’s Alexander Zverev. “We’re not talking about tennis matches and competitions, we’re talking about human life, so I hope they find that out soon.
The International Olympic Committee has expressed a reluctance to get involved in the matter, arguing that the incident needs to be investigated carefully. “Experience shows that careful diplomacy offers the best chance of finding a solution to this kind of problem,” she said. said through a spokesperson.
China’s tennis business in crisis
One of the WTA’s pressures to find Peng Shuai is the WTA’s withdrawal from the 11 tournaments it holds annually on Chinese territory, affecting economic problems.
However, Steve Simon has made it clear that the WTA is willing to absorb the economic impact for its players, so he calls for a thorough investigation into the matter and, if not, to hold the tournament in China. It will be assumed that there is no guarantee that it will be performed. In the next few years, according to ESPN.