Naomi Osaka said she was “in shock” following the disappearance of fellow tennis player Peng Shuai.
Peng, who is one of China’s most successful tennis stars, took to social media earlier this month to accuse the country’s former vice-premier, Zhang Gaoli, of sexually assaulting her. The 35-year-old has not been seen in public since the post.
The Women’s Tennis Association claims that it received confirmation Peng was safe but was unable to communicate with her directly. They have called for China to investigate her allegations.
Taking to Twitter, Osaka voiced her concern for Peng while rebuking censorship.
“Hey everyone, not sure if you’ve been following the news,” wrote Osaka. “But I was recently informed of a fellow tennis player that has gone missing shortly after revealing that she has been sexually abused. Censorship is never ok at any cost, I hope Peng Shuai and her family are safe and ok. I’m in shock of the current situation and I’m sending love and light her way. #whereispengshuai.”
. #WhereIsPengShuai pic.twitter.com/51qcyDtzLq
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) November 16, 2021
Also expressing his concern was men’s tennis star, Novak Djokovic: “I don’t have much information about it. I did hear about it a week ago. Honestly, it’s shocking that she’s missing, more so that it’s someone that I have seen on the tour in the previous years quite a few times.”
“I’ve not much more to say than hope that she will be found, that she’s OK. It’s just terrible. I can imagine just how her family feels that she’s missing.”
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