Is world tennis siding with Putin in his Ukraine war? Seems that way. The free world has united in its support of Ukraine and contempt for Putin’s atrocities there! Well, actually, that’s not entirely true. We know that countries like China and India and Iran and Brazil have chosen to support his war either directly or by sending him the money he needs to wage it. Time will pay them back for such inhumanities.
But shockingly (or maybe not) some companies and some athletic organizations are still supporting Russia’s presence on some of the biggest world stages. Consider the United States Tennis Association (USTA) for example. They, and their Partner sponsors, have decided to host Russia’s athletes to the US OPEN and thus are giving Putin and the Russians who back his sick war a good chance of attaining great national pride on one of the world’s largest stages. Some Russian tennis stars are amongst the world top performers and thus will get a lot of at-home popular press as they compete on one of the world’s most prestigious sports venues, the US OPEN.
Why is World Tennis supporting Putin’s Russia’s presence on their world stage when so many others have said no?
Global sports federations and many of their athletes have stood strong against the ruthless carnage Russia has launched upon its neighbor. It makes me wonder where the global tennis names stand. Are McEnroe, Evert, Navratilova, Williams all supporting this USTA action? They seem to be keeping pretty silent. Is it because they want to or because they must? Consider these examples.
Professional Ice Hockey, a strong sport where Russians are often dominant is an example. Recently the IIHF (International Ice Hockey Federation) stripped Russia from being the host country for the 2023 World Championship. This follows an earlier ban of Russian and Belarusian teams from this year’s championship; at the same time killing the junior world championship scheduled for Russia later this year.
FIFA, (Federation Internationale de Football Association) soccer’s international governing body, and UEFA (Federation Europa de Football Association) the European body, kicked all Russian teams and clubs, including their national team, out of international competition, stripping out of this year’s World Cup. UEFA stripped St. Petersburg from this year’s Champions League finals; at the same time killing a $50 million sponsorship deal with Russian energy giant Gazprom.
The ISU (International Skating Union) barred Russian and Belarusian athletes from competition, prohibiting figure-skating world power Russia from performing in the March 2022 World Championships.
Formula One canceled the Russian Grand Prix scheduled for Sochi later this year and banned them from ever hosting a Grand Prix event in the future.
The Paralympic Winter Games barred athletes from Russia or Belarus from competing.
The IOC (International Olympic Committee) had made an earlier declaration that both Russia and Belarus be barred from future competition.
IAAF (International Association of Athletic Federations) has not just barred athletes from Russia and Belarus from competing “for the foreseeable future”, but officials and coaches as well.
The International Skiing Federation (FIS) banned all Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing FIS event and is moving this year World Cup, previously set to occur in Russia to a location outside of that country.
World Taekwondo has stripped Putin of his honorary black belt and the International Judo Federation has kicked Putin out of his presidency of that organization.
World Tennis stand with Russian and Belarus, Punishes Wimbledon!
Wimbledon, one of the world most prestigious global tennis stages, “The Championships”, banned all Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing at this year’s event. Most of the free world saw that as a powerful and morally correct thig to do.
But not World Tennis! In fact, because of Wimbledon’s support for Ukraine and stand against Russia and Belarus, the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) and WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) PUNISHED Wimbledon and rewarded Russia and Belarus. They stripped Wimbledon of its world ranking points, in an effort to punish both the event and those athletes that competed there.
Think about that for a moment. ATP and WTA could have just taken a different approach, but they chose to go much beyond that and issue punishment. Punishment!?!?
What is wrong with these people? They can spin their decision with whatever finely crafted statements they might make, but the effect is the same. Russian and Belarusian athletes will be allowed to compete and thus Russia and Belarus will get their sundrenched moments of national pride. Think about that! Punish Wimbledon and reward Putin.
What is wrong with World Tennis?
It is hard to answer that question. How can they go in a direction that so many worlds sport federations, regulatory bodies and individual athletes have refused to go, and do so in such a spiteful way? What sort of mindset does that take? It makes no sense to me. You’ll have to ask Andrea Gaudenzi, the current Chairman or Massimo Calvelli the current CEO of the WTA how they came to this crazy position. Or maybe ask Steve Simon or Mark Lawler, the Chairman & CEO, and President respectively. Or maybe ask John McEnroe or Chrissy Evert or Serena. I can’t begin to give you an answer. I only see the incredible question.
You also might ask their “Official Partners”, their sponsors. Here’s a list right form the US Open website: American Express, Chase, Emirates, J.P. Morgan, Chubb, Evian, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Deloitte, IBM, Polo, Rolex, Body Armor, Grey Goose, Heineken, Mount Sinai, Ticketmaster, Lavazza, The New York Times, Tiffany & Co., Wilson…and their broadcast partner ESPN.