The annual Wimbledon tournament, one of four tennis Grand Slams, will be played without Russian or Belarusian competitors. Tournament organizers decided to ban Russians because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Belarusians because of alleged ties between the Belarusian and Russian governments.
The Grand Slam, which commences the last weekend of June, is the first known tennis tournament to prohibit Russian (and Belarusian) athletes from competing. Top tennis organizations such as the WTA and ATP have allowed these same athletes to compete, so long as they do not represent or show support for their countries.
As it stands, Russian Daniil Medvedev, the No. 2 men’s player in the world, will be prohibited from participating.
Wimbledon will ban all Russian players from its Grand Slam tennis tournament. This includes the world’s number 2 player, Daniil Medvedev. pic.twitter.com/eGCB2PMQ53
— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) April 20, 2022
The Wimbledon decision comes on the heels of the Boston Marathon disallowing runners from Russia and Belarus to show “support to the people of Ukraine.”
Clay Travis, OutKick’s founder, has been vocal that athletes from Russia and Belarus should not be punished for the sins of their governments.
“I one hundred billion percent disagree with decision to not allow Russian and Belarusian runners to compete in the Boston Marathon,” said Travis.
“This is nonsense. First of all, we don’t know what those runners actually think about the invasion of Ukraine. And they have no influence, arguably, at all, on the decisions being made by Vladimir Putin. So why should you hold them responsible for the decisions that are being made by their government?”
To Clay’s point, Andrey Rublev, currently the No. 8 player in the world, used a winter tournament in Dubai to speak out against the Russian invasion of Ukraine, penning “No war please” onto a camera lens after a match.
Travis’ marathon disapproval continued: “Plus, they aren’t representing the country… I think it was a poor move by the Boston Marathon. I think it’s an awful precedent going forward that you hold individual citizens of countries responsible for the choices that the larger country makes.”
Just weeks after the Boston Marathon banned Russians and Belarusians, Wimbledon has decided to return serve.
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