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A Hats Off to the Tennis Channel
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From The Sports Desk...


I felt this story needed to be recognized so I could doff my rumpled fedora to the Tennis Channel for a job well done.

The channel was scheduled to broadcast the action from the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships this week. Not so anymore. In a comendable and downright impressive move, the Tennis Channel has pulled the plug on the event -- losing a few bucks in the process -- due to the United Arab Emirates' refusal to grant an entry visa to Israeli player Shachar Pe'er.

Granted, we don't exactly why Miss Peer was denied entry to the country, but is suspected that it had much to so with "Israel's incursion into Gaza."

Said Tennis Network chairman Ken Solomon;
This is an easy decision to come by, based on what is right and wrong. Sports are about merit, absent of background, class, race, creed, color or religion. They are simply about talent. This is a classic case, not about what country did what to another country. If the State of Israel were barring a citizen of an Arab nation, we would have made the same decision.

Good on ya Tennis Channel. Here's a smack on the rear end from YBNBY.

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4 Comments

I agree. Though their Dubai guys might use the boycott of apartheid era white South African's as an example of why this ok. They might want to figure the rules out of who's allowable before the games go down. That said, the Tennis channels quite consistent. Good for them.

said E on February 18, 2009 12:36 AM.

Good on the Tennis Channel. And also Wall Street Journal Europe for pulling their sponsorship. How disappointing, though, that Larry Scott's "leadership" of the WTA only calls for him to be "disappointed" about this travesty, while raking in the money with both hands. He should have provided a little bit of leadership to the young athletes. They are young and idealistic, and would have realized that "supporting" Peer means standing by her, not expressing sympathy. And Barclays Bank claims they can't pull their sponsorship because their contract doesn't allow them to influence what the Dubai organizers do. Some contract! Who signs a contract that allows a group to use their good name without any recourse? What does "sponsorship" mean if it doesn't mean, "We support this group." Barclays blew it. The WTA blew it. And I can't believe how little attention this is getting in mainstream media, who are actually allowing Dubai to claim that they denied the visa because of "security concerns." If you can't provide security for a tennis tournament, you are unqualified to host it.

said ac on February 18, 2009 7:31 AM.

I agree, it was a poor move on Dubai's part, especially for a city who is trying to attract westerners. Though, as Baier pointed out in the Breakfast Links section a few days ago, it would seem that Dubai's days are numbered.

said Echowood on February 18, 2009 9:30 AM.

I'm watching the Tennis Channel tonight, whatever is on. I'm serious.

It is one thing to boycott an event in a country you are in conflict with (still stupid, I think, but justifiable at some level), and it is a whole other kettle of fish to ban athletes because of their country of origin.

Tennis Channel is going to not only lose money for standing up to Dubai, but if some imam decides to make a stink about it, they'll probably get threats over it, too. God bless 'em.

said Don't Swayze Bro on February 18, 2009 3:27 PM.
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