News and Commentary

She #MeToo’d A Communist Official And Went Missing. Chinese State Media Claims They Have Her Latest Statement.

   DailyWire.com
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 21: Shuai Peng of China in action during her Women's Singles first round match against Nao Hibino of Japan on day two of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 21, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Fred Lee/Getty Images)
Fred Lee/Getty Images

Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai has not been seen since accusing a former Chinese state leader of sexual assault. 

On November 2, Peng posted to Chinese social media that former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli sexually assaulted her three years ago following a round of tennis, while Zhang’s wife guarded the door. Her post was deleted nearly 30 minutes after publication and Peng’s Weibo account — a Chinese social media platform —  is still blocked on the platform. 

In her post, Peng claimed the relationship went back 10 years and at one point she had feelings for Zhang, according to ESPN.

“I couldn’t describe how disgusted I was, and how many times I asked myself am I still a human? I feel like a walking corpse,” wrote Peng.

On Wednesday, a statement attributed to Peng was tweeted out by CGTN — a Chinese state-affiliated media company — where Peng denies her claim that Zhang sexually assaulted her. 

“Hello everyone this is Peng Shuai. Regarding the recent news released on the official website of the WTA, the content has not been confirmed or verified by myself and it was released without my consent,” the statement said. “The news in that release, including the allegation of sexual assault, is not true. I’m not missing, nor am I unsafe. I’ve just been resting at home and everything is fine. Thank you again for caring about me.”

“If the WTA publishes any more news about me, please verify it with me, and release it with my consent. As a professional tennis player, I thank you all for your companionship and consideration. I hope to promote Chinese tennis with you all if I have the chance in the future. I hope Chinese tennis will become better and better.” 

 

Also on Wednesday, WTA Chairman and CEO Steve Simon put out a statement saying he was “concerned” following the alleged statement from Peng. 

“The statement released today by Chinese state media concerning Peng Shuai only raises my concerns as to her safety and whereabouts,” the statement read.   

“I have a hard time believing that Peng Shuai actually wrote the email we received or believes what is being attributed to her. Peng Shuai displayed incredible courage in describing an allegation of sexual assault against a former top official in the Chinese government.”

Simon went on to say that Peng’s accusations need to be heard without “coercion or intimidation.” 

“Peng Shuai must be allowed to speak freely, without coercion or intimidation from any source,” said Simon. “Her allegation of sexual assault must be respected, investigated with full transparency and without censorship. The voices of women need to be heard and respected, not censored nor dictated to.”

Many prominent tennis players have expressed concerns over Peng’s safety, including Naomi Osaka, the former world number one. 

“Censorship is never ok at any cost, I hope Peng Shuai and her family are safe and ok,” Osaka wrote. “I’m in shock of the current situation and I’m sending love and light her way.”

Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to sports@dailywire.com.

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