Israeli tennis player denied entry to Nazi-UAE
In February, [Shahar] Peer was prevented from playing at the Dubai Tennis Championships after she was denied entry into the United Arab Emirates, a country that does not have diplomatic relations with Israel. A number of players among which Venus Williams, condemned the action to not grant Peer a visa, and WTA chief Larry Scott said that he had considered cancelling the tournament, but chose not to after consulting Peer. Tournament director Salah Tahlak said that Peer was refused on the grounds that her appearance could incite anger in the Arab country, after she had already faced protests at the ASB Classic over the 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict. The WTA said that it would review future tournaments in Dubai. Due to the action, the Tennis Channel decided not to televise the event and The Wall Street Journal dropped its sponsorship. (Wikipedia.)
She says canceling the tournament wouldn't have been fair to other players. So why didn't the players withdraw from the tournament as a sign of protest? An excellent ESPN article argues that particularly the Williams sisters should have taken a stand:
This was a rare opportunity to make a significant stand. If anyone should have accepted the challenge and taken up Peer's fight, it should have been the Williams sisters, whose immense success always has been intertwined with the underlying tension created by their race and gender.
It didn't matter that Peer said it would have been unfair to the players if the event were canceled. The two biggest icons in women's tennis should have boycotted anyway, instead of offering their colleague surface-level support and shallow rationalizations.
At least some sponsors had the guts to do the right thing and withdraw their support. Also, Andy Roddick, an American tennis player, withdrew from the men's tournament.
Dubai is not of course the only crap country with anti-Israel lunatics. Shahar faced protesters, led by an "anti-racist" asshole, in New Zealand earlier this year.
Pe'er, by the way, serves in the military (worth extra points in my books) and is cute.