The world’s No. 1-ranked men’s tennis player, Russian Daniil Medvedev, may be facing an unenviable dilemma if he is going to be allowed to play at Wimbledon this summer. British officials are discussing the possibility of requiring him to denounce Russian President Vladimir Putin in order to be eligible for this year’s tennis tournament.
Breitbart writer John Nolte is calling that requirement a form of “McCarthyism.”
British Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston confirmed that this consideration was discussed Tuesday at the British Parliament. Russia’s tennis teams have already been denied entry in the Davis and Billie Jean King Cup, and now the United Kingdom government wants harsh sanctions on Russian players.
The Telegraph quoted Huddleston saying, “It needs to go beyond that. We need some potential assurance that they are not supporters of Vladimir Putin and we are considering what requirements we may need to try and get some assurances along those lines.”
British officials are discussing the potential Putin denouncement requirement with other nations, as well. Huddleston said, “It would be better if we can decide some broad global consensus on this.” Such a move by Wimbledon would be a first in international sports and would not come without controversy. Russian athletes have condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but none have dared criticize their nation’s president.
Nolte was quick to label what the UK and Wimbledon are considering as “neo-McCarthyism.” He also wrote it’s “obscene” to make Russian athletes choose between playing Wimbledon and putting themselves and their families at risk by angering their dictator..:
“This approach is what’s most indefensible about the Woke Gestapo. Silence is no longer acceptable. Neutrality means you’re the enemy. You must openly and proudly declare you are on the right side, the correct side, the APPROVED side of an issue, or you will be destroyed.
“How is that any different from McCarthyism?
Nolte went on to ask why the West should “behave in such a craven and shameful way” unless we want to alienate ourselves from the Russian citizens. This is virtue-signaling that would satisfy “smug elites” while doing nothing to impact Putin. The West could come off as bad guys, bullies and “fascists,” Nolte warned.
During the Cold War, the West did not blacklist athletes, Nolte recalled from history. The world was still run by adults who understood we wanted Russian people on our side and we would be no better than Joseph Stalin if we demanded purity tests.
Another point of contention for Nolte is that “these elitist bullies are the same people who suck up to China, despite a human rights record including genocide.” Many of them are doing business with China and would never demand Chinese athletes denounce their leader.
In fact, China’s Zhang Zhizhen competed last year at Wimbledon without facing the same potential requirement that Medvedev may be confronted with.
Nolte concludes that we are not at war with Russia and asks why we should wage war on its citizens.