Shahar Pe'er Denied Access to Dubai: Will Miss Tournament
By Sarah on February 20, 2009
BlogHer Original Post
Shahar Pe'er won't play in the The Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships this week. She wasn't injured. She wasn't sick. She didn't have a
family emergency. She was not on vacation.
She didn't play because she was denied a visa into the United Arab Emirates. She is not a criminal or a dissident.
She was denied the visa because she was from Israel.
I'll give you a second so that you can freak out. I know I did.
Then I'll let you read the statement released by The Barclays Dubai
Tennis Championships. (After this you may require another moment)
*Public sentiment remains high in the Middle East and it is believed
that Ms. Peer’s presence would have antagonized our fans who have
watched live television coverage of recent attacks in Gaza.
*Ms. Peer personally witnessed protests against her at another tournament in New Zealand only a few weeks ago.
*Concern was raised about her wellbeing and her presence triggering
similar protests. Given public sentiment, the entire tournament could
have been boycotted by protesters.
*We do not wish to politicize sports, but we have to be sensitive to
recent events in the region and not alienate or put at risk the players
and the many tennis fans of different nationalities that we have here
in the UAE.”
Seriously? I personally feel that the best judge of how safe it is
for Shahar Peer to compete in a tennis tournament would be Shahar Pe'er
Or possibly her mother.
But in no way do I feel like the government of The UAE should deny her a
visa because they are worried about her safety. It sounds to me like
The Emirates are concerned about their own safety.
I'm not saying it isn't fair for a country to deny a visa based on
safety concerns but in this case it denies her access to her source of
income. I also have some issues with the Women's Tennis Association not
coming out more strongly against this injustice.
Somebody cared. The Tennis Channel cared. They cared so much that they refused to air the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships. The Tennis Channel - all they do is tennis, all day long and it is a huge deal that they chose not to air a WTA tournament.
*Sarah virtually fist bumps The Tennis Channel*
So, Shahar Pe'er will not be playing, but guess who will? Andy Ram!
Guess where Andy Ram is from... you guessed it Israel. After pressure
No player, who qualifies to play
an ATP World Tour event, should be denied their right to compete on the
basis of ethnicity, nationality or religion and we are happy that the
Dubai Tennis Championships and the UAE have shown that they share that
Well, after pressure from the ATP who run the Men's Tournaments The UAE caved and issue the male tennis player a visa to play in the men's tournament.
The ever graceful Shahar Pe'er called this a great victory and looks forward to playing in the Dubai tournament next year.
I call it sexist.
Yes, I fully recognize the anti-semetic aspects, but I will leave that to you to discuss in the comments.
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