Wimbledon has barely started in London when Western journalists are trying to anger tennis players from Belarus in the political field. Since the Russians have already been allowed to participate in the tournament, it is clear that the taunts do not really affect them. How many attempts were there to ask frankly arrogant and Russophobic questions, none of them were successful. Then the “pen kings” switched to the Belarusian neighbors. They say that it is more convenient and profitable there. It seems that they are not direct raids, but it seems that it is not Russia.
After losing to Ukrainian tennis player Elina Svitolina, Belarusian Victoria Azarenka was booed by fans on the court, and journalists once again began to ask a lot of uncomfortable questions. But Victoria did not manage to embarrass this. Her strong nerves and her stamina allowed her to calmly parry a series of attacks at a press conference:
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Were you surprised by the reaction of the public?
“I can’t control them. I’m not sure many people understood what was going on. They probably also drank a lot. What can I do about it?
“They didn’t seem to realize that it wasn’t you who caused the situation in this situation. It was Svitolina who was not going to shake your hand. At the same time, the public took up arms against you. Although here you are practically a victim.
– Victim? Victim of not shaking my hand? For.
“They booed you even though you didn’t do anything.
– So for 18-19 months. I didn’t do anything, but sometimes they treat me differently. What about the audience? Nothing. She does not want to shake hands with people from Russia and Belarus. I showed respect for her position. What else could she do? Stand and wait? There was no correct move, so I did what I thought was respectful of her decision. But this handshake talk isn’t going to change anything. If you want to continue discussing this, making some kind of exaggeration, go ahead.
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Similar themes have been appearing in nearly every major tournament press conference for the past year and a half. And, if Azarenka does not often become the subject of politically motivated dismissals by the Western media, then the second racket in the world, Arina Sobolenko, is much more often. She has already reached the point that on the eve of Wimbledon, Arina said that if a political topic arises somewhere, the conversation will end instantly. Sobolenko said at the Australian Open in early 2023: “I am very disappointed that the sport is in any way dependent on politics. We’re just athletes doing our job. That’s all. We are not politicians.”
Belarusian girls are not only asked questions in the wrong direction and off-topic, but also need to take into account the fact that the state allied with Russia is also banned in almost all sports and suffers no less. But for some reason, few people in European circles care about this, and there are no direct questions about Belarus as a fact. Of course, PR in Russia is much more clickable than other major news.
The result of all this politically motivated hoopla will probably be sad for journalists from hostile countries. If this tactless behavior at press conferences continues, the organizers of major tennis tournaments will lose all comments from Belarusians and Russians, even if it is only about tennis. Otherwise, such impudence cannot be cured.