Polish tennis player Iga Swiatek recently spoke out about her views on war and the role of athletes in society. In an interview with Wprost, Swiatek shared her thoughts on hate, political tensions, and the responsibility of public figures to speak out. She emphasized that for her, war is not about politics but about the suffering of people.
“War for me is not about politics, but about people’s suffering, and that is why I decided to speak out,” Iga Swiatek said.
She also discussed the controversy surrounding Russian and Belarusian athletes appearing on tennis courts.
“As a Pole, from the beginning of the war in Ukraine, I was emotional about this issue. For me, it is important that we – athletes, public figures – have an impact on society. Our views shape others, and this can trigger change,” Swiatek said.
In terms of the controversy surrounding Russian and Belarusian athletes appearing on tennis courts, Swiatek said that it has created a moral dilemma for some players. This comes after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year.
“I have the impression that all these elements, plus the fact that, after all, Russian and Belarusian athletes are in a sense not responsible for the actions of politicians from their countries, makes for a certain dissonance. And a moral conundrum,” Iga Swiatek explained.
Iga Swiatek also discussed the issue of hate that athletes face, particularly after a defeat.
Actually, after every defeat, a lot of hate is poured. Once there was so little of it that I realized that there were more positive comments. But since my popularity and sports level have increased, the percentage of people who negatively evaluate me has also increased,” Iga Swiatek shared
Despite these challenges, Iga Swiatek remains committed to using her platform to make a positive impact. She encourages other athletes and public figures to do the same. The Pole emphasized the importance of standing up for what is right and using their influence to effect change.