Forceful open letter from Ukrainian tennis players before the invasion of Russia: “Silence is a betrayal”

Ukrainian tennis players have been demanding solidarity from their Russian and Belarusian colleagues

Ukrainian players on the circuit not only had to deal with the consequences of the invasion of their home country, but also made many efforts to help their homeland. The solidarity of the male and female circuit, in general, was notorious but through an open letter, they asked for a strong hand in the next events.

Elina Svitolin She is one of the best Ukrainian players for a long time. She recently published an impassioned piece stating that players from Russia and Belarus, who often have more followers than some of the world’s top leaders, they should talk more about what is happening with the invasion. In addition, he urged government bodies to take action in this regard.

The message was shared by other Ukrainian players like Marta Kostyuk. The claim via social networks occurred after Wimbledon issued a statement banning all Russian and Belarusian players from participating in the tournament, as a sign of protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In the early days of the conflict, Svitolina made a heartfelt promise to her community: that she would distribute her earnings for humanitarian aid and military efforts in Ukraine.

Stakhovsky signed up for military service (@stako_s)
Stakhovsky signed up for military service (@stako_s)

Not only her, but other Ukrainian players on the circuit have also had to go through a lot, due to the situation in their country. For example, Sergiy Stakhovsky Y Alexander Dolgopolov enlisted in the Ukrainian army and Dayana Yastremskawho fled the country with her sister, also pledged to donate her earnings to humanitarian efforts.

This Wednesday the Ukrainian tennis players published an open letter with Stakhovsky as the main protagonist. Within the publication they ask the authorities of the ATP and WTA circuit to make firm decisions and “that Russian and Belarusian athletes be excluded and prohibited from competing in any international event”. And he closed with a forceful phrase: “There comes a time when silence is a betrayal, and that time is now.”


Dear tennis community.

Ginetta Sagan once said: “Silence in the face of injustice is complicity with the oppressor.” This could not be more true at this time.

On February 24, 2022, Russia, supported by Belarus, attacked Ukraine. Now there is a war in our country, in our house. All Ukrainians are forced to leave their homes and fight for their lives. For more than 50 days, Russian forces have been bombing our cities and killing civilians, as well as using the territory of Belarus to bomb Ukraine from the west and north. Millions of people have been left homeless, millions of children now know what explosions, fear and death are like. All this is happening right now in central Europe.

As athletes we live a life in the public eye and therefore we have an enormous responsibility. Some of our posts and opinions on social media reach a larger audience than regional television. In times of crisis, silence means agreeing with what is happening. We noticed that some Russian and Belarusian actors vaguely mentioned the war at some point, but never clearly stated that Russia and Belarus started it on the territory of Ukraine. The very silence of those who choose to remain so at this time is unbearable, as it leads to continued murder in our homeland.

We demand that the WTA, ATP and ITF ensure that players representing Russia and Belarus answer the following questions

1. Do you support the invasion of Russia and Belarus on the territory of Ukraine and as a result of it the war started by those countries?

2. Do you support the military activities of Russia and Belarus in Ukraine?

3. Do you support the regime of Putin and Lukashenko?

In your case, we demand that Russian and Belarusian athletes be excluded and banned from competing in any international events, as Wimbledon has already done. There comes a time when silence is a betrayal, and that time is now.

The publication of one of the Ukrainian tennis players
The publication of one of the Ukrainian tennis players


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