Monday, February 16, 2009

The Gray Lady Sounds Off

That's right. The backlash against Dubai for denying Shahar Pe'er a visa to participate in this week's events has found its way into the New York Times. Money quote:

But the women should collectively recognize how dangerous a precedent it would be to finesse this issue, compromise in the interests of maintaining a prize revenue stream, even in the face of global recession.

For one thing, tennis does big business in American markets — think New York, Los Angeles and Miami — with large Jewish populations. The men, who follow the women to Dubai next week, may want to remember that, too, along with the companies that sponsor these events.


Helen W said...

From the same article, Venus Williams has spoken up for Pe'er:

“All the players support Shahar,” Williams said. “We are all athletes, and we stand for tennis.”

MMT said...

Helen W - while I have respect for Venus, I think in this situation a boycott of the event this year would have been more supportive and effective. At least the threat of a boycott.

Apparently money is king at the WTA, despite this patently disingenuous statement to the contrary from Larry Scott:

Helen W said...

I agree with you 110% MMT!

Lots of posters in the blogosphere have been suggesting that the leading lights on the men's tour, to wit Federer & Nadal, should have spoken out as well, and I agree. It will be interesting to see how the ATP tournament plays out next week.