fredag 19. november 2021

Women's tennis is challenging the Chinese government -- and it shows no sign of backing down

When tennis star Peng Shuai launched her explosive #MeToo accusation against a former Communist Party leader earlier this month, the Chinese government responded in typical fashion -- by muffling her with blanket censorship. Now, more than two weeks on, Beijing is facing a storm of its own making, as the global women's tennis community rises up to challenge Chinese authorities for silencing of one of their peers.

Peng, 35, a two-time former Grand Slam doubles champion, has vanished from the public eye since she accused former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, 75, of coercing her into sex at his home in a since-deleted social media post on November 2. Since then, Chinese censors have been diligently scrubbing her name and even the vaguest references to her allegations from the internet. But the silencing campaign has failed to work outside of China. Over the past few days, the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) and some of its biggest stars, past and present, have spoken out in solidarity with Peng, demanding to know her whereabouts.