The case of tennis player Peng Shuai gets scarier by the day. Jane McManus covered the first steps a couple days ago. Since then, the Chinese government, through their propaganda channels, released a statement that Peng is safe, except no one believes the evidence it produced. Which is what any reasonable person would conclude when something comes from Chinese state media.
WTA chairman Steve Simon has threatened to pull tournaments out of China, as well as to end any business interests and agreements there until he actually gets into contact with Shuai, which he’s been unable to do through various channels.
All of this started when Peng accused a former government official of sexual assault. Her disappearance and lack of communication caused the #WhereIsPengShuai hashtag to rifle through social media as everyone in tennis showed concern, up to Serena Williams.
The WTA’s response of threatening to pull tournaments and business is certainly in contrast to the IOC’s, which took the Chinese government’s release of a supposed email from Peng that she was safe and her accusation of sexual assault was false at face value. Remind me, where are the next Olympics again?
Peng is a former Olympian herself, and if you were completely cockeyed you would hope that the IOC would put the safety of all its athletes first and foremost. But, if your birth certificate says anything before 11/18/2021, you know the real truth. The IOC isn’t going to do anything to jeopardize one cent that might come from China, even going along with what appears to be utter bullshit put forth when it comes to the safety and claims of Peng. After all, China is one of the few locales left that will happily host the pox that is the Games.
It is nothing short of disgusting that the IOC can prioritize its agreements and business with China over the safety of any individual, which is what it’s doing here. The IOC doesn’t care if the Chinese government’s statements are true or not, it just doesn’t want any of the cashflow to stop. It doesn’t want to have to pull the Games from Beijing in a few months’ time, which if it even considered that a government disappeared someone speaking out against being sexually assaulted, it would have to stare in the face. Not that it would have the minimal amount of spine to do that, either.
Perhaps the IOC has been so naked about what it is for so long now that it can’t surprise us. It handed an Olympics to murderous strongman Vladimir Putin that nearly bankrupted the country. China had the Summer Games not so long ago. It stripped Rio of what little money it had. We know the Olympics leave whatever city that hosts them crippled. It staged the last Games in Tokyo when Tokyo clearly didn’t want them. We know what it’s about.
Is turning a blind eye to this so out of character for what the IOC has proven to be? Even when the WTA isn’t afraid to stand up to the Chinese government? No, of course not. But it’s more evidence as to what the IOC has always been and will always be. Cowards, cloaked in the money that is its only goal.