Australian Open Organizers Reverse Ban On ‘Where Is Peng Shuai?’ Shirts After Backlash

Jan 25, 2022.Tennis Australia had banned spectators from wearing shirts with the words "Where is Peng Shuai?" at the Australian Open due to backlash from former tennis stars and fans who accused it of trying to appease China.Two spectators are wearing clothes. The Chinese are pictured in the stands on day nine of the Australian Open tennis tournament.Agence France-Presse via Getty Images.Australian Open chief Craig Tiley told various news outlets that fans are allowed to wear a t-shirt and make a statement at the grand slam event, if they choose to.Tiley warned that any attempt to disrupt the event or any action that affects the comfort and safety of our fans will not be allowed.Large banners with poles that cover people's ability to watch the tennis will still be considered disruptive and be removed according to Tiley.The statement comes after social media furor over a video posted on Saturday which showed security officials at the Australian Open instructing some fans to remove shirts with the slogan on them.The security staff took action last weekend due to suspicions over the motive and intent of the person coming in.Tennis Australia used its resources in the region to try and establish that the Chinese player was safe immediately after her disappearance, according to the organization's chief.Continue watching after the ad Visit Advertiser website.The Australian Open's commitment to Peng Shuai is appreciated by the Women's Tennis Association and they know they join us in being worried about her health and safety. The tournaments in China have been suspended due to safety concerns.Tennis Australia used to not allow political statements at the Australian Open, but Tuesday's statement by Tiley is a change of heart. The previous decision was criticized by the Australian press but the most vocal condemnation came from retired tennis legend. During the Tennis Channel broadcast of the grand slam event, Navratilova accused Tennis Australia of "capitulating" on the issue by allowing the Chinese to dictate what they do at their own event. She said that this is a human rights statement. In November, she made a social media post accusing a former Chinese vice premier of sexual assault. The tennis star was not seen in public for several weeks after the post was removed from social media. She said last month that she had never accused anyone of sexual assault, but that she was being pressured to deny her initial claims.Tennis Australia has reversed its ban on shirts with the words 'Where is Peng Shuai?' on them.The ban on t-shirts by the Australian Open has been reversed.