Simon acknowledged that the tour could have little leverage to affect Chinese officialdom.

“I’m not sitting here and thinking that I’m going to solve the world’s problems by any means,” he stated. “But what I am here to do is that we have an athlete that’s part of the WTA family that’s come out with serious allegations. We’re going to be 100 percent supportive of that, and we want to see a full investigation on this.

“If that isn’t the case and if they are not cooperative, then we’ll have to make some decisions, and we’re prepared to do so, and that’s the best we can do. But we’re not going to back off this position. It’s the right place to be.”

Chinese authorities have routinely retaliated when confronted with outdoors criticism. In 2019, broadcasts of the N.B.A. had been quickly halted on Chinese state tv after Daryl Morey, a former Houston Rockets govt who’s now with the Philadelphia 76ers, tweeted his solidarity with pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. The league’s commissioner, Adam Silver, later stated that the fallout had value the league a whole bunch of tens of millions of {dollars}.

Last month, Boston Celtics video games had been pulled from the Chinese internet after Enes Kanter, one of many workforce’s gamers, known as President Xi Jinping of China a “brutal dictator” on social media.

“Look, I can’t speak to the decisions that the N.B.A. made,” Simon stated. “They had, obviously, different issues. But in this situation, the WTA issue is about potential sexual assault of one of our players. That is something that simply can’t be compromised.”

The WTA Tour has more and more targeted on the Chinese market during the last decade, culminating with the 10-year deal to stage the tour finals in Shenzhen that started in 2019. Simon stated the Chinese organizers deliberate to take a position “more than $1 billion” over the lifetime of the deal, together with the price of a brand new stadium, they usually doubled the occasion’s prize cash to $14 million.

But the 2020 finals, together with most Chinese tournaments, had been canceled due to the pandemic. None of the 11 scheduled WTA tournaments in China had been held this 12 months as China continued to limit foreigners from getting into the nation. The WTA has managed to fill the slots on the calendar with new or non permanent occasions, usually with smaller purses. The WTA Finals, which can conclude on Wednesday, had been moved to Guadalajara, Mexico, the place prize cash is a relatively low $5 million however enthusiasm and crowds have been vital.

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