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Wimbledon’s Anti-Russian Xenophobia Backfires, as ATP Strips Tournament of Ranking Status

IMAGE: Russian Daniil Medvedev and Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka are banned from the iconic British sporting event due to their race and nationality.

Virtue signaling for Ukraine is not without its costs. As the familiar saying goes, “go woke, and go broke.”

After weeks of waiting for a ruling by the international professional body, the Association of Tennis Players (ATP), the players have finally spoken, and have opted to defend their fellow Russian and Belorussian players from xenophobic and political attacks waged by tournament officials. It seems that the anti-Russian policy taken by Wimbledon’s All England Tennis Club – to discriminate against any players from Russia and Belarus – has backfired spectacularly, with the ATP ruling that the former iconic Grand Slam competition will now be stripped of its ranking points, effectively relegating the tournament’s status to that of a glorified exhibition match.

The official Wimbledon statement reads: “We appreciate that opinions differ in relation to our decision to decline entries from Russian and Belorussian players to the championships this year and we deeply regret the impact of this decision on the individuals affected.

It now appears that Wimbledon grossly misjudged the situation. Their statement indicates that they took their fatal decision to ban players based on race and nationality in conjunction with an increasingly desperate and reactionary British government. It stands to reason that Wimbledon probably believed that Westminster and its mainstream media adjuncts had its back on the issue, and that amid an atmosphere of anti-Russian hysteria – that somehow this politically-motivated policy of xenophobia would receive unfettered broad-based support. In fact, the opposite has now happened. The club’s misguided approach is laid bare in their own public statement:

“However, given the position taken by the UK Government to limit Russia’s global influence, which removed automatic entry by ranking, and the widespread response of Government, industry, sport and creative institutions, we remain of the view that we have made the only viable decision for Wimbledon as a globally renowned sporting event and British institution, and we stand by the decision we have made.”

This is the first mainstream domino to fall in the West. A sign of things to come? 

Sky News reports…

Wimbledon has been stripped of its world ranking points for banning Russian and Belarusian players.

World tennis authorities said it undermined the fundamental principle of players qualifying on merit.

The ATP, in charge of the men’s game, said it had acted with “great regret and reluctance” but that “discrimination by individual tournaments is simply not viable”.

Women’s tennis governing body the WTA also said it was stripping the event of its points.

It said players “should not be penalized or prevented from competing solely because of their nationalities or the decisions made by the governments of their countries”.

Wimbledon announced the ban in April due to the invasion of Ukraine.

The LTA, which runs the game in Britain, also barred Russian and Belarusian players from all its competitions.

Players affected include US Open men’s champion Daniil Medvedev and highly-ranked women’s player Aryna Sabalenka.

Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are among those who have criticised the ban.

Wimbledon organiser the All England Club said it was deeply disappointed by the “disproportionate” decision of the ATP and WTA.

It said that while it deeply regretted the impact on players, it stood by the ban, and that it had made the “only viable decision for Wimbledon as a globally renowned sporting event and British institution”.

‘Discussing with Grand Slam colleagues’

A proposal to allow players to compete if they sign a declaration condemning the war “would carry significant scrutiny and risk”, said the All England Club.

It added that it was “unwilling to accept success or participation at Wimbledon being used to benefit the propaganda machine of the Russian regime”.

“We are considering our options, and we are reserving our position at this stage. We are also in discussion with our Grand Slam colleagues,” its statement said…

Continue this story at Sky News

READ MORE UKRAINE NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Ukraine Files



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