Ukrainian tennis star Elina Svitolina has demanded that Russian and Belarusian players be subjected to ideological purity tests before they are allowed to compete in international tournaments.
The former world number three has insisted on a total ban on all Russian and Belarusian athletes if they fail to sign up to a series of statements regarding politics and the war in Ukraine.
“We noticed that some Russian and Belarusian players at some point vaguely mentioned the war, but never clearly stating that Russia and Belarus started it on the territory of Ukraine,” wrote Svitolina on Twitter.
She is presumably unhappy with Russian and Belarusian players merely calling for peace without explicitly denouncing their own country and asserting it is to blame for the war.
‼️💙💛🇺🇦✊🏼 pic.twitter.com/UK04g8OOh9— Elina Monfils (@ElinaSvitolina) April 20, 2022
“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,” claimed Svitolina, asserting that tennis players not correctly saying “Putin bad” is literally leading to people being killed.
She demanded players unfortunate enough to be born on a piece of land called ‘Russia’ properly answer the following questions.
1. Do you support Russia’s and Belarus invasion in Ukraine’s territory and as a result of that the war started by those countries?
2. Do you support Russia’s and Belarus military activities in Ukraine?
3. Do you support Putin’s and Lukashenko’s regime?
Any players answering yes to any of those questions should be slapped with a full scale tournament ban, according to Svitolina.
“In times of crisis, silence means agreeing with what is happening. There comes a time when silence is betrayal, and that time is now,” she wrote.
The Ukrainian’s demand that players pass ideological purity tests before being allowed to hit a ball with a racket isn’t even as draconian as the standard imposed by the organizers of the Wimbledon tennis tournament.
They’ve banned all Russians and Belarusians from competing, even those who have denounced Vladimir Putin and Russia.
Former world number one men’s champion Novak Djokavic called the decision “crazy,” saying politics shouldn’t interfere in sport.
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