Two days after confiscating “Where is Peng Shuai” T-shirts from fans at the Australian Open, the organization in charge of the event is reversing its stance on “political” slogans.
Tennis Australia, the tournament’s organizer, announced the change in policy about two days after a video was posted on social media of fans at the tournament being told by security to take off shirts that featured the phrase “Where is Peng Shuai?” The shirt is in reference to the Chinese tennis star who disappeared from the public eye in early November after she accused a top Chinese official of sexual assault.
A police officer told the fans that clothing with “political slogans” was banned. Tennis Australia originally defended the decision, standing by its rule that bans spectators from displaying statements it finds “political.”
BREAKING - Australian Open security call in police on human rights activists @pakchoi_boi@maxmokchito for wearing “Free Peng Shuai” shirts, try force @pakchoi_boi to take off shirt in public area right next to @naomiosaka training session - the most vocal athlete on Peng Shuai pic.twitter.com/qAPPmEJEZt— Drew Pavlou For Senate (@DrewPavlou) January 21, 2022
But tournament director Craig Tiley recently told AFP the organization was changing its rules.
“Yes, as long as they are not coming as a mob to be disruptive but are peaceful,” Tiley said when asked if fans can continue their protests.
“The situation in the last couple of days is that some people came with a banner on two large poles, and we can’t allow that. If you are coming to watch the tennis that’s fine, but we can’t allow anyone to cause a disruption at the end of the day.”
• Jacob Calvin Meyer can be reached at email@example.com.
Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC.