WTA finally speaks about Dubai and Israel controversy - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 07:06 PM Thread Starter
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WTA finally speaks about Dubai and Israel controversy

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200...bag/index.html

(...)

As for the tennis, as I wrote a few years ago, the U.A.E. does not exactly have a sterling record on women's rights. Further, like other Arab nations, the U.A.E. doesn't have diplomatic relations with Israel.
Reader Lance Harke called this link to our attention. Note this prominent line: "Nationals of 'Israel' may not enter the U.A.E." If I'm, say, Shahar Peer, the top-40 Israeli player, I'm sure not happy that my tour is sanctioning events in countries in which I am not welcome. It's not a perfect analogy but we'll make this one anyway: Would the WTA or ATP ever even think about sanctioning an event in a country or club that excluded African-Americans? (Then again, if the country in question were offering $1.5 million in prize money, high six-figure guarantees and had a duty free shop that was a chief sponsor of the tour. Well, maybe. )

We asked the ATP and WTA about this issue and both tours reported that before giving their sanction, they had assurances that no player would be denied entry into the Dubai event. I was struck by how closely the logic parallels President Bush's position on the ports. While this country isn't perfect, let's use this as an opportunity to bridge gaps and establish trust.

Here's WTA CEO Larry Scott: "The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour and our player and tournament members believe that through sport we can act as a positive influence for social change and equality, particularly in the area of women's rights. We are one of many sporting organizations that has reached this conclusion on the role that sport can play in diverse countries throughout the world."

Like many of you, I have a hard time with Scott's situational ethics. And I also recognize that the U.A.E.'s monopoly money is playing a huge role in the equation. But another part of me is inclined to give him (and the ATP) the benefit of the doubt. Bringing women's tennis to a moderate Arab country may ultimately lead to improving women's rights as well as a better understanding of the West. Who knows? It might even lead to a day when Peer and the 10 other Israeli players ranked by the WTA don't need special permission to enter the country.

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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spiceboy

Here's WTA CEO Larry Scott: "The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour and our player and tournament members believe that through sport we can act as a positive influence for social change and equality, particularly in the area of women's rights. We are one of many sporting organizations that has reached this conclusion on the role that sport can play in diverse countries throughout the world."

Google translation into non-bullshit English:

"Our product has a somewhat limited public appeal, so we don't want to take any stand that might jeopardize huge flipping wodges of cash. Plus, we're bringing exposed midriffs and hot legs to parts of the world that desperately need to see them."

"If you practice for ten years, you may begin to please yourself, after 20 years you may become a performer and please the audience, after 30 years you may please even your guru, but you must practice for many more years before you finally become a true artist—then you may please even God." --Ali Akbar Khan, 1922-2009
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 07:38 PM
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Albireo
Google translation into non-bullshit English:

"Our product has a somewhat limited public appeal, so we don't want to take any stand that might jeopardize huge flipping wodges of cash. Plus, we're bringing exposed midriffs and hot legs to parts of the world that desperately need to see them."
Lol!

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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 07:39 PM
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USA didn't extend an invitation to Cuba to play some big baseball tournament... I don't see sportillustrated making a big stink becuase of it.... a country full of hypocrits

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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 07:57 PM
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everybody sing "said I, I, I, ain't gonna play Sun City..."

Nice tap-dance, though.

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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 09:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spiceboy
Would the WTA or ATP ever even think about sanctioning an event in a country or club that excluded African-Americans? (Then again, if the country in question were offering $1.5 million in prize money, high six-figure guarantees and had a duty free shop that was a chief sponsor of the tour. Well, maybe. )
Of course they would.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spiceboy
We asked the ATP and WTA about this issue and both tours reported that before giving their sanction, they had assurances that no player would be denied entry into the Dubai event.


Quote:
Originally Posted by spiceboy
Here's WTA retard :retard: Larry Scott :retard: : "The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour and our player and tournament members believe that through sport we can act as a positive influence for social change and equality, particularly in the area of women's rights. We are one of many sporting organizations that has reached this conclusion on the role that sport can play in diverse countries throughout the world."
Motherf****r :retard:
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 03:38 PM
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This is a part of politics and business.
If someone will play top dollar, political ideals sometimes get pushed to the side.

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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 04:29 PM
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I'm surprised that NONE of the other players pass the event because of it, or speak out about it. Very surprised.

If it were me, I would HAVE to do both, morally.
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 04:39 PM
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 04:47 PM
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Well, this article is complete BS imo.

First, getting woman's rights in the equation is absolutely ridiculous. When you want to enter political positions in the tour, then probably it's also time to boycott socialist countries, dictatorships or whatever. Second, comparing the probable denial of Israelis to enter the tournament to denying African Americans of entering tennis tournaments is not only an imperfect analogy, it is a TERRIBLE one. Countries have fights with each other all the time, and would certainly deny entry to people from a certain country. That is by no means comparable to racial discrimination. Somebody needs to put that idiot in his place.

Last edited by Apoleb; Mar 3rd, 2006 at 04:53 PM.
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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 06:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jorje286
...socialist countries...
What's a socialist country for you? Spain for example has a socialist government right now and everything is OK...
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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 07:03 PM
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Saying and doing in the Arab world are very often contradictory actions. When Israel bombs Iran there will be the most outraged reaction from places like the UAE followed by the diplomatic equivalent of high fives with any Israeli they meet and eventual unconfirmed relevations that they assisted with the intelligence and the mission itself.
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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 07:08 PM
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by tenn_ace
USA didn't extend an invitation to Cuba to play some big baseball tournament... I don't see sportillustrated making a big stink becuase of it.... a country full of hypocrits
That's true.
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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 07:24 PM
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As far as I know, there is no exact parallel to this. Howver, here are some observations.

a) Many countries regard Israel as a rogue state illegally occupying Palestinian land. I note they don't deny Jews entry, but rather Israeli nationals.

b) Re Shahar Peer, the WTA is a business. She joined voluntarily. I doubt she's happy about the tournament being there, but she's free to leave the tour if she likes. least Especially considering that, at the moment, she's at technically in the Israeli military.

c) If you recall, there was an international ban on South African participation in international sporting events in the latter stages of the apartheid regime.

d) IF, and I stress IF, the WTA has secured the right of any Israeli player to particiapte in the event, they've certainly done their share.

Israel is a nation reserves to itself the right to violate it's neighbor's borders, and kill their citizens. (And yes, I know the whole 'self-defense' song-and-dance, I just don't buy all of it. Some maybe. Not all. Of course, if I was Prime Minister of Israel, my decisions would likely not be any more peaceful than those of Shimon Peres. And he certainly was no pacifist.)

Is it all that surprising that some countries in the region don't allow Israelis in? They might be providing targeting information.

Consider the American reaction to the Dubai port deal? Is it not the same?

'No citizen of Dubai can be trusted.'
'No citizen of Israel can be trusted.'

The pursuit of power can lead to extreme policy decisions.

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Not blind. Not uninformed. We are party to atrocities. But the response of the world after 9/11 is worth noting. Even our most dire enemies offered aid. We should all be so lucky.
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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polla Muy Tiesa
What's a socialist country for you? Spain for example has a socialist government right now and everything is OK...
Spain has it's own disgusting sporting related problems.
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