tennis star 2

The Tennis Star, 2




claim reportedly tournament
a third lucrative association
coerce demand on the line (2)
icon (2) household household name
league probe (2) see/saw/seen
grand confident grand slam
slam former premier (2)
vice revenue propaganda
media seemingly overdrive (2)
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outcry tweet (2) prestigious
global minority come with it
add (2) suppress stay out (2)
fear well-being broadcaster
missing consider every means
safe (2) try/tried say/said/said
proof convince potentially
double out front tell/told/told
CEO prepare take a stand
deal (2) lucrative stand up to
decision demand lose/lost/lost (2)
willing period (4) compromise
rule stamp (2) complication
release certainly come/came/come
retract right (4) big/bigger/biggest
include movement lead/led/led
retire appear to headquarters
blatant reputation go to great lengths
ministry opposite censorship
affairs so far (2) controversy
refuse comment acknowledge
at risk stance (2) stand/stood/stood (2)
regional apparent walk away (2)
caption suspicious stand up for
boycott market (2) committee
offer (2) solution crossroads (2)
against buckle (2) opportunity
pro (2) public (2) find/found/found
entity based upon think/thought/thought
bold thing (2) under pressure (2)
accuse major (2) win/won/won
praise diplomacy make/made/made
tough decision under duress
try/tried allegation feel/felt/felt (3)
reach whether radio silence (2)
erase mean (4) speak/spoke/spoken
keep (2) gamble (2) hold/held/held
claim no matter investigation


Video: Tennis Star Peng Shuai



Tennis in China: a billion dollar business for the WTA (Women’s Tennis Association). Ten tournaments, reportedly a third of their revenue. Highly lucrative.

And for the Chinese government, highly prestigious.

Now, it’s all on the line — the WTA demanding answers.

Where is tennis icon Peng Shuai?

Is she okay?

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

A household name in China, Peng has not been seen in public since November second. The thirty-five year old double Grand Slams champion accusing China’s seventy-five year old former vice-premier of coercing her of having sex about three years ago at his home.

Chinese state media on propaganda overdrive, seemingly trying to silence the growing global outcry. A Chinese journalist tweeting these pictures of Peng, claiming they are from her Wechat, with the caption, “Happy weekend”.

No time stamp on the photos.

No actual direct communication with Peng herself.

On Wednesday, a suspicious e-mail, released by a state broadcaster only adding to fears of her well-being.

The e-mail retracts her allegations, saying, “I’m not missing, nor am I unsafe. I’ve just been resting at home and everything is fine.”

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

The WTA not convinced, demanding proof that Peng is safe, a probe into her allegations. The organization’s CEO telling out front he is prepared to pull out of China — potentially losing a lucrative ten-year deal.

Steve Simon, Chairman and CEO, Women’s Tennis Association: “We have to start as a world making decisions that are based upon right and wrong. Period.

And we can’t compromise that.

And we are definitely willing to pull our business and deal with all the complications that come with it, because this is certainly bigger than the business.”

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

China is a nation ruled by powerful men, long accused of suppressing the rights of women and minorities, including silencing leaders of China’s #metoo movement. Now the apparent silencing of Peng Shuai.

China appears to going to great lengths, using the government’s great power to protect the reputation of a retired communist party leader.

So far, Beijing’s blatant censorship is doing just the opposite. China’s ministry of foreign affairs refusing to comment or even acknowledge the growing controversy.

The WTA taking a stand, a huge financial gamble. The regional headquarters is in Beijing. The tennis organization willing to walk away from the massive Chinese market to stand up for one of its stars.

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

Olympics organizers are staying out of it, just weeks before the Beijing Winter Games.

Peng is a three time Olympian.

US President Joe Biden considering a diplomatic boycott.

But the IOC (International Olympic Committee) says that, “Experience shows that quiet diplomacy offers the best opportunity to find a solution.”

Christine Brennan, CNN Sports Analyst: “The IOC buckles under the thought of losing business in China. The NBA buckles under the pressure. And here’s the WTA saying enough is enough, standing up to doing what is right.

When do we ever see that anymore in sports, a major pro sports league or entity doing the right thing?”

The WTA’s bold stance against China winning praise from around the world.

Pam Shriver, Former Professional Tennis Player: “We’re at a crossroads. And it’s now time to make the tough decisions that you can’t do business when the safety of your players is at risk.”

For the international tennis community, some things are more important than money.

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

The WTA says they have tried by every means possible to reach Peng Shuai, whether it be messaging on social media, e-mailing, calling any number that they have for her.

Nothing. Radio silence.

So until they can speak with her directly, and feel confident that she is okay and is not being held under duress or kept quiet.

And until there is complete and full investigation of those claims that she made, that were so quickly erased from Chinese social media, they say they are fully prepared to walk away from China, no matter the cost to their business.

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Tennis, Badminton. Tennis is just a sport. People play tennis only for fun. True or false?

Soccer, Football. Is tennis popular in China? Are the Chinese proud of their tennis champions?

Basketball. Has Peng Shuai retired from professional tennis?

Volleyball. Why might she have disappeared or gone missing?

Swimming, Water Polo. Nobody cares about Peng Shuai. Is this right or wrong?

Track and Field. Have Peng, her family and close friends announced her condition and whereabouts?

Marathon Run. The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) says it believes e-mail and video messages saying Peng is fine and well. Is this correct or incorrect? For the WTA Chairman and CEO, will everything be business as usual?

Fencing. Does China uphold women’s rights? Are human rights the most important value for the Chinese Communist Party?

Gymnastics. Do the WTA, IOC (International Olympic Committee) and the NBA (National Basketball Association) have common values and ideals?
Boxing. Competitive sports are very popular in my country. Yes or no? What are the most popular competitive sports? Are there sports stars, heroes and icons?

Wrestling, Judo. Are professional and amateur sports big business? Give examples.

Cycling, Bicycling. Are sexual assault and harassment serious problems in your society?

Skiing, Ski Jump. Can ordinary citizens freely criticize and complain about the government, ruling party, politicians and big business?

Ice-Skating. Money and power usually override the rule of law. What do you think?

Rowing, Canoeing, Kayaking. What might happen in the future?

Ice Hockey. What could or should people do?

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