Australian Open reverses ban on 'where is Peng Shuai' t-shirts after fans were told to remove them
By SEAMLESS DAILY
25 January 2022
The organisers of the Australian Open have reversed a ban on T-shirts supporting Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai after a global outcry.
In a stunning backflip, tournament director Craig Tiley has told news agency AFP that the ban on fans wearing the t-shirts will be lifted.
'as long as you are "not coming as a mob to be disruptive but are peaceful,' mr tiley told afp.
'The situation in the last couple of days is that some people came with a banner on two large poles and we can't allow that.
'If you are coming to watch the tennis that's fine, but we can ’ t allow anyone to cause a disruption at the end of the day. '
The decision follows the controversy that grew after footage emerged of event security guards and police demanding a spectator remove her shirt at the grand slam over the weekend.
on the back, with a photo of her face and 'wanted' printed on the front.
after the woman was ordered to take off her clothing.
Ms Shuai vanished from public view for three weeks last year after making a post on Chinese social media platform Weibo on November 2 accusing former vice-premier Zhang Gaoli of raping her in 2017.
'This isn't a political message,' the male activist responds.
female tennis player who is being persecuted and the women's tennis association has spoken out for her.
The reversal comes less than 24 hours after Tennis Australia had defended their ban, saying that under their ticket conditions of entry they did not allow "clothing, banners or signs that are commercial or political".
"Peng Shuai's safety is our primary concern.
'we continue to work with the wta and global tennis community to do everything we can to ensure her wellbeing. '
The organisation also faced accusations of censorship over the ruling on the t-shirts, including suggestions it was protecting a lucrative $ 100million sponsorship deal with a Chinese liquor company.
But this is not a political issue,' Mr Dutton said on Sky News.
'It's a human rights issue.
With reports of activists planning to distribute hundreds of shirts branded with the question "Where is Peng Shaui ?"
Craig Tiley, chief executive of Tennis Australia- the organising body behind the Australian Open- told reporters they would now allow spectators to wear the T-shirt as long as they attended without the "intent to disrupt" and were "peaceful".
Tennis great Martina Navratilova, a three-time Australian Open singles champion, posted a tweet saying : "That's just pathetic.
She wrote in a social media post in November that she was sexually assaulted by a former senior member of the ruling Communist Party.
Their banner was confiscated, and they were asked to remove the offending shirts.
She has since re-appeared, but many remain concerned about her wellbeing.
"If someone wants to wear a T-shirt and make a statement about Peng Shuai that's fine," he was quoted as saying in The Sydney Morning Herald.
But he added that banners would still not be allowed as "it really takes away from the comfort and safety of the fans", and that security staff would make decisions on a case-by-case basis.
She then vanished from the public eye, triggering a wave of global concern among the international tennis community, fans and human rights groups over her whereabouts.
Australia's defence minister Peter Dutton also slammed the ban, calling Tennis Australia's actions "deeply concerning" in an interview with broadcaster Sky News.
Tennis Australia is not the only body that has terms and conditions governing spectators' attire and conduct.
The All England Lawn Tennis Club, which organises Wimbledon, prohibits "any objects or clothing bearing ... political statements, objectionable or offensive statements" from the tournament grounds.
and showcasing my allegiance around Melbourne Park.
If it ’ s about money, say that!
Off the court, we have a long way to go.
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