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Indybay Feature
Did WTA weaponize concerns over tennis star Peng Shuai?
by DLi
Saturday Dec 4th, 2021 5:28 PM
Last week the WTA(professional Women's Tennis Association), under the--unilateral?--ruling of its current President Steve Simon, announced it would cancel all its tournaments in China until Chinese officials conduct a full investigation and "a guarantee on her safety" on Peng's online allegation of sexual abuse by a top Chinese government official. That sensational--and apparently unprecedented political stance--may at first glance seem like a principled move. And of course the Western corporate MSM immediately seized on that theme to hyperventlate on the "authoritarian Chinese government" narrative. But perhaps there are other aspects and views on the episode?
For one thing, the IOC(International Olympics Committee) have had 2 separate video calls from Peng herself mentioning her own safety and requesting privacy. Also, Peng also emailed WTA head Simon with a similar message. Simon, however, claimed to have doubts--although he never disclosed on what basis--about Peng being able to speak freely without pressure.

Equally significant, this supposed concern over sexual assault on female athletes has apparently not been a trademark with either Simon nor the WTA. A prime example is the landmark case of sexual abuse of dozens--if not hundreds--of young U.S. female gymnasts over decades. I certainly do not recall the WTA issuing any supporting statement for the victimized athletes(or setting up a restitution fund to help with the healing and recovery for the many victims), and absolutely no such grandstanding move as proposing a boycott of all U.S. gymnastic public events. Doesn't that suggest a double standard?

Certainly, sexual abuse of athletes is a serious matter and deserve accountability and transparency--by all parties, including the sources for Simon's rationale beyond his own speculations.The WTA should be commended for its demand for a full investigation by Chinese authorities. But by instituting a full boycott, before all the relevant facts(yes, including Peng's freedom from coercion)are known, Simon's premature action smacks of a slick PR campaign to "greenwash" the WTA image.

Equally critical, there is no denying that the U.S. corporate media, in total lockstep with Uncle Sam's ruling elite, has been wildly ramping up a vicious "all-spectrum-wide" campaign to disparage, demean, and even--in some influential Beltway circles--to destabilize the Chinese government, by any means necessary! The NED(so-called National Endowment for Democracy)--a "soft-power" CIA front for regime change on all socialist governments, or simply nations that don't kowtow to the Washington Consensus, has for many years funded and fomented many so-called "civil society" groups and actions that exploit any social contradictions--be they large or even minute civil disagreements(witness last July's "popular uprising" of Cuban nationals--which, upon closer inspection, proved USA funding and organizing helps months ahead of the "uprising"). Hence, the WTA boycott, at the very least, plays right into the hands of such USA Imperial "New Cold War" on China. This is one aspect that--given the history of Uncle Sam's nefarious "plausible deniability" destabilization methods--deserve a much wider scrutiny.
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