February 16, 2009

When Politics & Tennis Don't Mix

OK. So this is not a blog about women's pro tennis. But, in case you are not aware, something very unfortunate has happened recently on the WTA tour.

The United Arab Emirates has denied a visa to Israeli (i.e., Jewish) tennis pro Shahar Peer, effectively preventing her from competing in the Barclay Dubai Tennis Championships. The Dubai tournament is considered one of the biggest WTA events, following the four Slams. An excellent article on the issue and what, if anything, the WTA may do in response can be found here, on the New York Times tennis page. In this situation, I have to agree with the New York Times: "There is always going to be international conflict, and athletes in the middle. But they can’t be abandoned there when there is a choice. Tennis should finish its business in the gulf this month, and say bye-bye, Dubai."

Photo by Mick Tsikas/Reuters

© Kim Selzman 2009
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