Just 'calling for peace' is not enough.
In the latest WTF? moment, the world's current number tennis player Daniil Medvedev faces a ban from competing at the Wimbledon tournament this year unless he publicly denounces Vladimir Putin.
The British Minister for Sport Nigel Huddleston stated Wednesday stated in parliament that Russian players will have to go in front of cameras and tell the world they are opposed to the actions of their country in Ukraine in order to compete.
Not finished there Huddleston added that just avoiding flying the flag or wearing the colours of their countries wouldn’t be enough.
“Many countries have agreed that they will not allow representatives from Russia to compete,” the minister said, adding “There are also visa issues as well. When it comes to individuals, that is more complex.”
“Absolutely nobody flying the flag for Russia should be allowed or enabled,” Huddleston said. "We need some potential assurance that they are not supporters of Putin and we are considering what requirements we may need to try and get some assurances along those lines,” he added.
This would effectively put the players at incredible risk of assassination, yet there was no assurance from the minister as to whether Medvedev and other Russian players would be protected if they publicly denounce Putin.
Medvedev has previously been asked about the situation in Ukraine, and he responded “My message is always the same — I want peace in all of the world.” this, however is not good enough apparently.
The World Tennis Association has announced that it does not agree with the potential ban on Russian players, with WTA head Steve Simon saying: “I can tell you that we have never banned athletes from participating on our tour as the result of political positions their leadership may take, so it would take something very significant for that to change, but again we don’t know where this is going.” adding “I feel very strongly that these individual athletes should not be the ones that are being penalized by the decisions of an authoritarian leadership that is obviously doing terrible, reprehensible things.” Simon further urged.
Wimbledon is not like the World Cup, or the Olympics where players participate under their nations flag, the tennis tournament is played by individual participants whose country of origin in entirely incidental, you would think that Huddleston would know the difference. This echos the Novak Djokovic incident. Both players face their careers being cut short merely for not publicly supporting the current groupthink narrative demanded by political zealots.