Throughout history sports have been the arena where pure skill has carried the day. Whether it is an individual sport or a team sport the politics that separate us have generally dissipated. There are notable exceptions such as the Munich Olympics of 1972 where the nastiness of hate reared its ugly head. There are also positive examples such as Jesse Owens' victory in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin during the tyranny of the Nazis. This is a prelude to a recent disturbing development in the world of tennis.
Yesterday the United Arab Emirates denied the Visa of a qualified player who was slated to participate in the Barclays Dubai tournament because she is Israeli. In recent years Dubai has attempted to enter the world arena as a place of premier everything, sports, music, entertainment, etc. This exposes a nasty undercurrent of both racism and anti-semitism that perseveres. Shahar Peer, ranked 45th in the world, was slated to participate along with all of the top 10 ranked female players in the world. The reaction from the tennis world to this shameful event was swift and decisive. Click HERE to read the entire article I wrote on Athletic Alley on this unacceptable behavior.