Wimbledon ban on Russian players

Sir, – Brian O'Connor's article gave a balanced account on the banning of Russian and Belarusian tennis players from competing at Wimbledon this summer but concluded that doubling down on individual rights and freedom has already handed a "propaganda victory to Putin" (Sports, Tipping Point, May 16th).

Freedom for all people, including tennis players whose identity is always associated with their nationality, is valued, but the people of Irpin and Mariupol and all the Ukrainian people must wonder why their individual freedom and lives were recently wiped out and their cities left in ruins by the invading Russian army. People in sport often conveniently protest about the intrusion of politics into sport, but the likelihood of a Russian (having world ranked players number two and eight and a former number one) winning at Wimbledon would further serve to boost the inflated ego of Putin amid all the atrocities he is inflicting on the Ukrainian people.

Taking the high moral ground will always have its detractors, but Wimbledon should be commended in taking a symbolic stand by adding a further sanction against Russian aggression and giving a glimmer of solidarity to the Ukrainian people. –Yours, etc,



Co Mayo.