Following international backlash, Tennis Australia has announced a reversal on its ban against t-shirts questioning the wellbeing of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai, though banners prohibiting her effective disappearance will remain prohibited. “If you are coming to watch the tennis that’s fine, but we can’t allow anyone to cause a disruption at the end of the day,” Craig Tiley, Tennis Australia’s chief executive and tournament director, told AFP. The Australian Open’s organizers had previously said that emblazoning the phrase “Where is Peng Shuai?” on clothing constituted “commercial or political material.” Over the weekend, they asked authorities to break up a protest of people wearing the shirts and carrying a banner outside Melbourne Park. Tennis Australia insisted at the time that Peng’s safety remains a “primary concern.” Tennis legend Martina Navratilova on Monday condemned the Australian response, calling it “pathetic” and accusing organizers of “capitulating” to China. The tennis player’s safety has been in question since last November, when she accused a former senior official in the Chinese government of sexual assault.
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