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Discussion Starter #1
I wonder why this is not a thing at all. People love to shit on Australia because of Court. But the fact is that we're having tournaments on states that actually presecute LGBT people, where not only same sex relationships are not recognised, they are criminally prosecuted.

In Football a lot of people hate teams like Manchester City because they are owned by the Sheik from UAE, a country with a terrible track record on human rights, and try to use the team as in a way a PR. Personally I believe this should apply also to those WTA tournaments and really should be more of a discussion.

South Africa was isolated in terms of sports during Apartheid for example.

Besides, nothing strenghts a fight more than being coherent, while nothing weakens one more than cherry picking outrage. What do you guys think?
 

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UAE, China etc. all give WTA money, so WTA isn't going to boycott them unless there is some kind of international outrage. And most players can't afford to not play and lose money.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I understand obviously the money aspect, but my question is, why don't we even have pundits, players or former players saying stuff? People like Navratilova, Andy Murray could very well have a saying and start something. It's barely a discussion at all. It's only brought up as some form of whataboutism very occasionally when talking about Court. Besides although rich, those oil States are not that relevant to the tour, just one Premier and one Premier 5. They're not behemoths like China.
 

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I wonder why this is not a thing at all. People love to shit on Australia because of Court. But the fact is that we're having tournaments on states that actually presecute LGBT people, where not only same sex relationships are not recognised, they are criminally prosecuted.

We live in a world where small sinners are subjected to constant harassment, while big sinners get a free pass. It's the Ocasio Cortez outrage culture.
 

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Discussion Starter #7

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Some will be canceled
other can choose not to go, it's their choice.
Don't be dramatic
 

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We live in a world where small sinners are subjected to constant harassment, while big sinners get a free pass. It's the Ocasio Cortez outrage culture.
They're held to a different standard because of a kind of contempt many (most?) in the West hold for Islamic countries and their cultures and readily call out their own because they consider themselves better than that.
 

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Noone is going to burn their fingers on calling rich and powerful Arabian sheikhs out. It's that simple.
...because if you call out those billionaire sheiks, they can immediately hire the most expensive law firm in your country to harass you in your own house... the only people who can criticize them are those who have enough money to fight fire with fire.
 

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In Football the media and ocasionally some people involved in the sport do that. I don't understand why tennis has virtually zero debate about it.

La Liga Chief Claims Saudi Arabia Is Using Sports to ‘Whitewash’ Reputation
Soccer is different as it is team-based. In tennis everyone is on their own and there isn't a union. The Players' Councils of the two tours won't take a lead as they are either passive or in the case of the ATP, full of homophobe-apologists. Who would be willing to stand out there alone to boycott an event? No one was willing to boycott Margaret Court Arena and there were only a small few who publicly criticised her. They could choose not to enter (or participate in exhibitions) in the Middle East but to openly boycott is an entirely different matter and could impact their sponsorships. Why would anyone put a target on their backs.

Is it even up to the players to make a stand though? The WTA put them in a difficult position by organising back-to-back PM and P5 events there. China also has an atrocious human rights record. The reality is that the WTA need to keep the tour financially sustainable but is run by incompetent people unwilling to diversify the tour or create new opportunities. They will keep looking for easy money and since the bottom dollar is all they care about, that's how they will keep operating.
 

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Once in a while you can hear these calls to boycott like for the Dutch national football team to boycott the FIFA World Cup in Russia 2018 (the discussion ended because they didn't even qualify) but I don't feel like it's the players duty to make this cause theirs and put their livelihood or all the work done on the line for a cause that is not directly linked to them.

It would be a different matter if it was directly linked to tennis, for instance when Shahar Peer was banned for being Israeli. Then you would be playing in a tournament discriminating players and thus supporting it. Same would be if a player was banned from a tournament for being gay.

I understand this is not exactly a satisfying distinction though. I mean, extreme example, what if there was a concentration camp situated in the same city? Not related to tennis but not exactly a pleasant idea you play tennis for an audience from that city.
 

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The same could apply to St Petersburg and Moscow - look at how the LGBTQ+ community are treated in Russia.

It’s a difficult one for sure. Lots of LGBTQ+ people visit Dubai for vacation, despite their laws on homosexuality - it doesn’t seem to put people off visiting. In fact there’s a huge underground gay scene there, behind closed doors.

It doesn’t seem to deter openly out players from competing in Dubai / Doha either...
 

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Because the players themselves are not the affected directly by the policies you mentioned. I remember when Shahar Peer was boycotted by Dubai, and Vee stood up against it, saying she would not compete there otherwise. That was 2010 when she was a reigning champion, I think. So, leverage, and urgency, too, are needed to call for changes. But institutional change is nearly impossible, and I don't think a handful of WTA players are gonna be the ones changing them, unfortunately.
 

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If anything, they should boycott the USOS. The US has been known to have economic hitmen, sabotaging economies, causing wars and unrest throughout the world. Invading countries and leaving them in ruins, looting natural resources. Look at Libya today, a wasteland in the name of democracy and liberties.
 

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You can make a political argument to boycott most countries. Tennis is a worldwide sport and some people have very strong opinions on certain issues. But the tour should be global and a role model for equality and earning your success thru hard work no matter what the politics. Then individuals can decide if they want to stay away from some events because they are stronly opposed to the politics
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Maybe I wasn't very clear. I understand the situation with the players, but my problem is, not even the media or pundits say anything. There's nothing at stake for say, Navratilova, I don't think it would be a problem for her to say something. It is not even discussed. The fans also, there's absolutely no problems or consequences for us to just talk about.
 

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I don't think you can ostracize a nation for their lawmakers. Why should the people of UAE be denied a public event/entertainment because of their country's laws? Less wealthy locals and working visitors depend on the employment that comes from tourism and this kind of event - some of these people are also members of the LGBT community. I don't think boycotting is the answer because it will certainly impact people in a negative way and is unlikely to bring about any kind of change to the country's law.

The best thing tourists and athletes can do is travel to those countries and engage with the locals, exposing them to different cultures and attitudes in an authentic way. Perhaps some of the players could use their public profiles to be more outspoken on LGBT issues (without condemnation of course), or at least more vocal in their support. That sets a positive example for young impressionable fans in different parts of the world. It won't happen overnight, but hopefully one day the laws will reflect the views of the people who have been inspired by this generation.
 
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