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The Women’s Tennis Association and many of its athletes are standing up to the Chinese government over the Peng Shuai ordeal, and OutKick founder Clay Travis says the WTA deserves lots of credit for it.
“I want to applaud the Women’s Tennis Association — its players and leadership — for standing up to China over Peng Shuai’s accusations of sexual assault against a prominent Chinese leader,” Clay tweeted. “Putting principle over money is all too rare in American sports. Bravo.”
Shuai went missing shortly after accusing senior Chinese leader Zhang Gaoli of sexual assault. Later, China’s state-run media released pictures of her eating at a Chinese restaurant, as well as a video of her. Nobody is buying it, including the WTA.
“I am glad to see the videos released by China state-run media that appear to show Peng Shuai at a restaurant in Beijing. While it is positive to see her, it remains unclear if she is free and able to make decisions and take actions on her own, without coercion or external interference,” WTA chairman and CEO Steve Simon said in a statement.
“This video alone is insufficient. As I have stated from the beginning, I remain concerned about Peng Shuai’s health and safety and that the allegation of sexual assault is being censored and swept under the rug. I have been clear about what needs to happen and our relationship with China is at a crossroads.”
Though the WTA stands to lose money, and lots of it, by standing up to the Communist nation, the WTA won’t place money above what is right, as the NBA has been accused of doing.
“The NBA — its players, coaches & execs — should take note of what real courage looks like,” Clay tweeted. “The WTA put hundreds of millions of dollars at stake by standing up to China. When push came to shove, the NBA’s players shut up and dribbled. The WTA stood strong while the NBA crumbled.”
Meanwhile, China seems to be confused by the backlash.
“China does not want its people to know about Peng’s case,” the Guardian wrote in an editorial. “But it is already beginning to spin the broader questions over the Olympics as proof that the west is using human rights concerns as a pretext to [take] down the country: ‘anti-Chinese forces will converge to make trouble for China,’ a state-run newspaper predicted on Monday.”