Tuesday, February 17, 2009

This is the Right Thing

I am ashamed I watched part of this tournament today fed over the internet.
I think this is a fine and gutsy decision.
The Tennis Channel will not televise the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships this week to protest the United Arab Emirates’ refusal to grant an entry visa to the Israeli player Shahar Peer. Peer was scheduled to play Anna Chakvetadze in the first round.

And I am entirely ready to boycott future purchases from the WTA (I fear I have paid for next year's tickets in Toronto) if the WTA does not fix this.

Solomon was not critical of the WTA’s decision to play the tournament.

“It’s easier for us to pull the plug,” he said. “It’s different for Larry and the WTA, who were more or less strung along and led to believe she would get the visa. His players were on the ground, and everything was in motion. The rug was pulled out from under their feet.”

He added: “The entire field of competitors is diminished by this happening. It hurts them all. Shahar earned the right to be in the tournament. She’s been on a roll and could have won it. It’s just hard to imagine this happening in this day and age.”

Scott said that United Arab Emirates officials did not tell him why Peer was denied the visa, but that he believed Israel’s incursion into Gaza was a crucial element of the decision. Still, he said, he knew for about a year that Peer might have trouble entering Dubai.

Solomon is too kind. The WTA has no excuse and I am happy to drop my biennial subsidy to them.


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