Women’s professional tennis player and Chinese native Peng Shuai went missing shortly after she made comments accusing a member of her native country’s government of sexual assault in November. While new details have emerged about Peng and her whereabouts, there’s still some doubt as to whether the Chinese tennis player is truly safe. Such doubt has led the WTA to take drastic measures ahead of upcoming tournaments in China.
BREAKING: The head of the women’s professional tennis tour says all WTA tournaments will be suspended in China because of concerns about the safety of Peng Shuai, a player who accused a former government official in that country of sexual assault.
— AP Sports (@AP_Sports) December 1, 2021
The WTA is standing up to China here. WTA chairman and CEO Steve Simon, among others, isn’t satisfied with how Chinas has addressed the Peng Shuai situation and is acting in a way that will ensure that China at least hears his words: removing any possibility of women’s tennis players participating in events in China, routinely one of the biggest stages for the WTA and China, given the end-of-the-year WTA Finals.
Not only that, but Simon called into question whether the WTA would hold events in China next year either.
Simon also called for a “full and transparent investigation- without censorship” into the events surrounding the disappearance of Peng Shuai. It’s not clear if anything will come of Simon’s actions as it directly pertains to Peng Shuai.
Even if nothing happens, it’s a good sign to see the WTA step up and defend one of their own in Peng Shuai.