WSJ pulls Dubai sponsorship over Pe'er

Paper says it won't sponsor men's tennis event either due to refusal to give visas to Israeli players.

shahar peer tennis 248 88 ap (photo credit: AP [file])
shahar peer tennis 248 88 ap
(photo credit: AP [file])
The Wall Street Journal Europe announced Tuesday that it had revoked its sponsorship of a Dubai women's tennis tournament, due to the United Arab Emirates' refusal to issue an entry visa for Israel's Shahar Pe'er. "The Wall Street Journal's editorial philosophy is free markets and free people, and this action runs counter to the Journal's editorial direction," the Journal Europe said in a statement. It added that it was also withdrawing its sponsorship of the men's tournament beginning next week. In the US, the Tennis Channel has refused to broadcast the event, and the Women's Tennis Association has threatened to strike the lucrative tournament from the tennis calendar. Larry Scott, head of the WTA tour, said Monday that barring entry to Pe'er could have ramifications beyond tennis because it threatens the principle that sports and politics should not mix. The organizers of the Dubai women's tournament claimed on Tuesday that possible threats against Pe'er led authorities to block her from receiving a visa. The statement by the Dubai Tennis Championships - citing fan anger of Israeli's recent incursions into the Gaza Strip - was its first detailed defense after the last-minute visa denial. It remains unclear whether Andy Ram will be allowed to participate in next week's men's doubles tournament. The ATP, which runs the men's tour, said it's awaiting "an official decision" on Ram's visa. It added that the UAE has an opportunity to "make the right decision."