Like so many main sporting occasions proper now, the Wimbledon tennis competitors has chosen to bar Russian and Belarusian gamers from collaborating on this yr’s event. However not all athletes concerned within the event assume that is the correct name.
Rafael Nadal is one among a number of tennis professionals to talk out in opposition to the occasion’s choice to ban Russian and Belarusian gamers in gentle of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, calling the choice “very unfair.”
“It isn’t their fault what’s taking place on this second with the conflict,” the 21-time Grand Slam winner stated over the weekend, through ESPN.
Andrey Rublev, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and reigning U.S. Open champion Daniil Medvedev are amongst those that would not have the ability to take part within the occasion as a result of they’re Russian. Belarusian professionals Aryna Sabalenka and Victoria Azarenka would even be unable to compete.
Nadal is not the one tennis professional to criticize the All England Membership’s choice. Novak Djokovic additionally spoke out in opposition to the choice over the weekend, likening the exclusion of Russian and Belarusian gamers to when he was barred from the Australian Open earlier this yr as a result of he was not vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19.
“It isn’t the identical factor, however going by one thing comparable earlier this yr for myself, it is irritating figuring out that you simply’re not capable of play,” Djokovic stated from Spain, the place he and Nadal are prepping for the Madrid Open. “I nonetheless stand by my place that I do not assist the choice. I feel it is simply not truthful, it isn’t proper, however it’s what it’s.”
Fellow professional Andy Murray added, through CNN: “My understanding of the steering was that Russians and Belarusians can play in the event that they signal a declaration that they are in opposition to the conflict and in opposition to the Russian regime… I am unsure how snug I might really feel if one thing occurred to one of many gamers or their households (consequently).”
Wimbledon is slated to start on June 27.