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Home / Sports / ‘Where is Peng Shuai?’: Fans allowed to wear T-shirts after backlash

‘Where is Peng Shuai?’: Fans allowed to wear T-shirts after backlash

Tennis Australia chief Craig Tiley warns against ‘disruptive’ behaviour
Peng Shuai.
Peng Shuai.
File Photo

Reuters   |   Melbourne   |   Published 26.01.22, 02:03 AM

Fans are free to wear “Where is Peng Shuai?” shirts at the Australian Open but they must not become “disruptive”, Tennis Australia chief Craig Tiley said on Tuesday, amid criticism of the grand slam organisers’ earlier stance on the issue.

In response to a video posted on social media on Saturday of security officials instructing fans to remove shirts with the slogan on them, the governing body said the Melbourne Park tournament does not allow political statements.

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Martina Navratilova described that reaction as “cowardly” and said Australian Open organisers were giving in to China and placing sponsorship money ahead of human rights concerns.

“Unfortunately I think there’s a lot of miscommunication and lack of understanding on it, because it’s not just a one line response,” Tiley said.

“Someone wearing a T-shirt saying something is not going to have any impact on the safety. But when they start getting together as a group, as a mob, and start being disruptive, in any way or form, that’s a different thing.

“If they’re coming in to do what everyone else is doing — to enjoy the tennis — and if they’ve got a T-shirt on that says, ‘Where is Peng Shuai?’, that’s fine.”

In November, Peng had alleged that a former Chinese vice premier, Zhang Gaoli, had sexually assaulted her in the past.



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