The Times - UK (2022-01-24)

(Antfer) #1

16 V2 Monday January 24 2022 | the times


News


Australian Open organisers have
defended the decision by security
guards and police officers to confiscate
T-shirts featuring messages in support
of the Chinese player Peng Shuai.
Concerns for the wellbeing of the
former doubles world No 1 were
raised in November when
she posted allegations on
social media of sexual
assault by the former
vice-premier Zhang
Gaoli. The post was
deleted within 20
minutes and there
were subsequent sus-
picions from Steve
Simon, chief executive
of the Women’s Tennis
Association (WTA), that
she was not able to “commu-
nicate freely” despite footage of
her making public appearances.
Video was released at the weekend of
two human rights activists — one of
them the Hong Kong pro-democracy
campaigner Max Mok — being con-
fronted by security staff in Melbourne
Park and asked to remove T-shirts with
“Where is Peng Shuai?” printed on the
back. A banner featuring the same


Tennis chiefs seize


T-shirts backing


Chinese player


message was also confiscated. “Under
our ticket conditions of entry, we don’t
allow clothing, banners or signs that are
commercial or political,” Tennis Aus-
tralia said. “Peng Shuai’s safety is our
primary concern. We continue to work
with the WTA and global tennis com-
munity to seek more clarity on her situ-
ation and will do everything we can to
ensure her wellbeing.”
A GoFundMe page set up
online has since raised
£3,500 for the printing
of more Peng T-shirts.
The intention is for
these to be handed to
spectators for a pro-
test on a larger scale
at the women’s sin-
gles final on Saturday.
“If Tennis Australia
is serious about the
movement, they’ll let
people in,” Mok told The Age
newspaper. “Time will tell which
side they’re on.”
One of the Australian Open’s main
sponsors is the state-owned Chinese al-
cohol distillery Luzhou Laojiao. The
fifth main show court at Melbourne
Park is named the 1573 Arena after the
company’s Guojiao 1573 brand, as part
of a five-year deal estimated to be worth
at least £40 million.

Stuart Fraser Tennis Correspondent,
Melbourne


PETER HOGAN/ALAMY

Women and


children first


‘a Titanic myth’


Nadeem Badshah

It is a myth that women and children
survived the sinking of the Titanic due
to the chivalry of men on board, a
historian has claimed.
Claes-Goran Wetterholm said most
of the last survivors who escaped on the
final lifeboats from the starboard side of
the ship were men.
With a new exhibition about the ship
open in London’s Docklands, Wetter-
holm said it was important to “dispel
some of the myths”, including that a
“women and children first” rule for life-
boats was followed to the letter.
He said that the order from the cap-
tain on April 15, 1912, was interpreted
differently on different sides of the ship.
Wetterholm, 69, from Stockholm,
told The Mail on Sunday: “While the
story goes that those who survived
were women and children, it’s not true:
323 men survived, 80 per cent of them
got on lifeboats from the starboard side.
“They survived because first officer
William Murdoch, who evacuated that
side, didn’t prevent them from getting
in. On the port side, second officer
Charles Lightoller had the rule of
‘women and children first’ and he took
it literally. One boat that could take 65
people rowed away with 28, leaving
men behind.”
Titanic: The Exhibition at the Dock X
venue includes 200 artefacts belonging
to passengers and crew and recreates
rooms on the ship.

Greensleeves This heavily brocaded gown took centre stage at Lifestyle London
2022, a fashion exhibition in Pall Mall featuring the work of Pakistani designers

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