A famous Chinese tennis player, Peng Shuai, is missing after alleging that a former Vice-premier of the Chinese Communist Party sexually assaulted her. The allegations are disturbing, but even more disturbing is the fact that Peng Shuai hasn't been seen since November 2nd, when she posted a message about the assault on Weibo (basically the Chinese Twitter).
Since that message was posted, she hasn't been seen or heard from. The CCP, however, wants us to know that everything is just fine. Their state controlled media sent an email to the Women's Tennis Association head, Steve Simon, assuring him that the allegations were false and and that Peng Shuai is just "resting". They say that this message comes directly from Shuai (with absolutely no evidence to back it up):
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.
Oh, thank heavens! The communist party's media arm is 100% trustworthy, so we shouldn't look into this anymore!
Simon isn't buying it. He released a statement that says the message only makes the situation more suspicious. Here's an excerpt:
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. The WTA and the rest of the world need independent and verifiable proof that she is safe. I have repeatedly tried to reach her via numerous forms of communication, to no avail."
Luckily, those in the media and sports world are also not gullible enough to trust the CCP. #WhereIsPengShuai has been trending on Twitter, and other tennis stars like Naomi Osaka, Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams have all posted messages of support.
Let's all take a moment to pray for Peng Shuai. The sports world and media should not rest until real proof of her safety is provided.