Wimbledon organizers announced on Wednesday that Russian and Belarusian players will not be allowed to compete at this year’s grand slam following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
‘Silence of those who choose to remain that way right now is unbearable’
On Wednesday, Ukrainian tennis players Marta Kostyuk, Elina Monfils and Lesia Tsurenko called for a total ban on Russian and Belarusian players who fail to denounce Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
They posted a letter on social media addressed to the “Tennis community” calling for fellow players to use their platform to speak out.
“As athletes, we live a life in the public eye and therefore have an enormous responsibility. Some of our posts and opinions reach an audience larger than those of regional television stations. In times of crisis, silence means agreeing with what is happening,” it read.
“We noticed that some Russian and Belarusian players at some point vaguely mentioned the war, but never clearly stated that Russia and Belarus started it on the territory of Ukraine.
“The very silence of those who choose to remain that way right now is unbearable as it leads to the continuation of murder in our homeland.”
They go on to demand the sport’s governing bodies ask players whether they support the Russian invasion and exclude those who do from competitions in the future.
Wimbledon, the third grand slam of the year, is set to begin on Monday, June 27.