These spectators were allegedly spoken to about their T-shirts.

Wimbledon ‘double standards’ claim as T-shirts unleash storm before officials back off

Activists wearing ‘Where’s Peng Shuai’ t-shirts at Wimbledon claim they were ‘bullied’ by security personnel when tennis legend Martina Navratilova lunged during their treatment.

There are serious concerns for Shuai since the Chinese tennis player disappeared last year after allegations of sexual assault against a top politician of the ruling communist party.

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Shuai later walked back on those allegations and made staged public appearances, gave interviews and said she was doing well. But most believe she was coerced and unable to act of her own free will.

The WTA has been strong in demanding information about Shuai’s well-being and has removed tennis tournaments in China from the calendar until there is evidence that the two-time grand slam champion in doubles is free.

A group of men from the Free Tibet campaign, who changed into “Where’s Peng Shuai” shirts after entering the Wimbledon district, claimed security had warned them not to spread a political message or interact with fellow All England Club spectators. to speak.

Under Wimbledon rules, fans are not allowed to “wear objects or clothing with political statements, offensive or abusive statements, or commercial identification intended for ‘ambush marketing’.”

As reported by the guardWill Hoyles, 39, said: “We came to try and raise a bit of awareness but Wimbledon managed to make it worse for itself by harassing us.

“They asked a lot of questions about what we were going to do, why we were here, you know, what we had already done etc.

“And we told them we had just walked around and we had talked to a few people and then they seemed to be getting pretty suspicious.”

By the BBCJason Leith added: “We are Ban Russian players and Belarusian players who have spoken out against the war (against Ukraine), but then there are all these human rights violations that the Chinese Communist Party has committed, but that’s absolutely fine – so it’s a double standard. It just doesn’t seem to make sense.

“It’s Wimbledon and she’s an ex-Wimbledon champion and if there’s one place to talk about this and get that discussion going again, it’s here.”

Navratilova, who had previously been outspoken about the need to raise awareness of Shuai’s plight, responded to a clip from the activists on Twitter.

“What? Not allowed to talk?!? WHAT?” she wrote: “This is what Russia and China would do, right? But UK? Hm.

“Unreal – muzzling peaceful human rights activists…isn’t that what Russia is doing? I’m asking for a friend.”

UK MP Iain Duncan Smith also tweeted: “Dear Wimbledon, unlike in Xi’s China, we value freedom of expression in this country. People who want to raise their voices in support of #whereisPengShuai should be able to.”

Great concern has been expressed for the well-being of Peng Shuai. (Photo by PAUL CROCK/AFP)Source: AFP

A Wimbledon spokesperson said: “We can confirm that four guests were approached by security today while walking outside No 1 Court.

“These people are now enjoying their day with us and can still wear their T-shirts.

“Like much of the tennis community and people around the world at large, we remain deeply concerned about Peng Shuai and continue to support the efforts of the WTA.”

A similar episode occurred at this year’s Australian Open, when a spectator was ordered to take off a shirt with a statement of support for Shuai

“Where’s Peng Shuai” shirts were temporarily banned in Melbourne Park before activists were allowed to hand them out again at the women’s final.

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