Putting Principles Before Profits, Steve Simon Takes a Stand

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Simon’s refusal to settle for China’s authoritarian stance on human legal rights once it specifically impacted one of his gamers stands in stark contrast to many significant-profile leaders in sports activities who have consistently bent to the wishes of the Chinese, together with Adam Silver, the commissioner of the N.B.A., and Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee.

Simon has been worried about Peng’s physical protection but also believed, as did the associates of his participant council and others he communicates with consistently in a participant chat group, that the silencing of Peng and her sexual assault allegation amounted to a direct attack on the principle of equality upon which the WTA was started.

“It’s now December and we have not found any significant progress,” he stated Wednesday night.

Simon, a 66-yr-previous Southern California indigenous, performed tennis at Long Seaside State University and combined doubles at Wimbledon in 1981 alongside Lea Antonoplis. He has spent his grownup existence in tennis coaching, jogging the tennis application for Adidas, and arranging and at some point directing the BNP Paribas Open, a joint men’s and women’s function in Indian Wells, Calif., identified as the fifth Grand Slam.

All along, Simon was quietly gaining authority inside tennis circles, even if few of the players realized him especially perfectly. He began serving on the board of the WTA in 2004.

In 2009, he worked to get Stacey Allaster, then the president of the WTA, appointed as the following main govt. Allaster reported in the course of a rough second for her candidacy, she privately requested Simon if he may well be a superior match to direct the organization.

“Without a blink he turned to me and claimed, ‘No, we’re likely to remain the course,’” Allaster mentioned.

6 a long time afterwards, following Allaster made a decision to stage down, the WTA board unanimously selected Simon to triumph her. He has because cultivated the aid of the sport’s major stars of the present and earlier, such as Serena Williams and King, the founder of the WTA, even though keeping his decades-extended relationships with the event administrators who have been his original base of assist.