Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


'Cowardly and weak': Navratilova hits out at Australian Open ban on Peng Shuai T-shirts

Tennis great Martina Navratilova has accused the Australian Open of being “cowardly” and “capitulating” to China by preventing fans from wearing T-shirts showing support for Peng Shuai.

The Chinese tennis player disappeared from public view for nearly three weeks in November 2021 when she appeared to accuse a former Chinese vice premier, Zhang Gaoli, of sexually assaulting her in the past.

Last month she denied ever accusing anyone of sexual assault and said a social media post she had written had been misunderstood.

Martina Navratilova has criticised the Australian Open

There remain concerns about her well-being and the World Tennis Association has suspended tournaments in China.


After video emerged of security officials and police telling fans to remove shirts with the slogan “Where is Peng Shuai?” at the Australian Open on Saturday, Tennis Australia (TA) defended its stance by saying the tournament doesn’t allow political statements.

Australia’s tennis governing body said in a statement: “Under our ticket conditions of entry we don’t allow clothing, banners or signs that are commercial or political.”

Navratilova, an 18-time Grand Slam winner, accused Tennis Australia of “capitulating” to China and putting sponsorship money ahead of human rights concerns.

She told the US-based Tennis Channel: “I find it really, really cowardly.

“I think they are wrong on this. This is not a political statement, this is a human rights statement.

“(Tennis Australia is) just really capitulating on this issue… letting the Chinese really dictate what they do at their own slam. I just find it really weak.”

French player Nicolas Mahut also slammed TA’s response, tweeting: “What lack of courage! What if you did not have Chinese sponsors.”

On Monday, Peng supporters in Australia said they were planning to hand out 1,000 “Where is Peng Shuai?” T-shirts at Melbourne Park this week after raising more than $10,000 (£5,287) on a GoFundMe page.

“We can see how many match-goers that they can stop,” activist Max Mok told Australian ABC Radio.


Latest Tweets

London Globe

The first secular Republic in the Muslim East – İndependence Day.… #news #


You May Also Like


The controversial Russian businessman Viktor Baturin, well-known for his years-long counterstanding with his wealthy sister Elena, widow of Moscow ex-mayor Yuri Luzhkov, is likely...

United Kingdom

Film director Ridley Scott has recalled the death of actor Oliver Reed while making the Oscar winning blockbuster Gladiator. Scott said hard-drinking Reed “just...

United Kingdom

The Watneys Party Seven is making a comeback. The ubiquitous 70s beer was a bland fizzing bitter ridiculed by many. The drink’s insipidness helped...

European Union

On April 9, 2022 Dimash Qudaibergen’s first solo concert in Germany took place in Düsseldorf. The colossal energy and the atmosphere of unity did...