'Genocide Of Ukrainian People': Kostyuk Refuses To Keep Politics Out Of Sports

'Genocide Of Ukrainian People': Kostyuk Refuses To Keep Politics Out Of Sports

by Sebastian Dahlman

Last updated

Marta Kostyuk made it clear that the ongoing war has affected her and that she refuses to be silent about it.

In the first round of the 2023 Roland Garros, the Ukrainian will take on Aryna Sabalenka in a match that everyone has been talking about recently. The Belarusian was asked about the match and she admitted that she was ready for her opponent not shaking her hands.

Kostyuk confirmed that she doesn't plan to shake hands in an interview with BTU, but ahead of the second Grand Slam of the season, she took a chance to use her platform and talk about the issues that are significant for her.

"We are talking about people being murdered and as a response, we hear that we should leave sports out of politics. But war does not choose whether you are an athlete or not when it comes to your home."

These powerful words underscore Kostyuk's refusal to compartmentalize her life as a tennis player from the realities that her country faces. She stressed that her position is about basic human respect, not politics, and that she is not willing to put aside these values in the name of sport.

"It's not politics, it's not about elections, it's not about laws or whatever. War is war, and we all know how Russia and Belarus act in this war against Ukraine, how they shoot civilians, take civilians as prisoners, loot homes, rape and kidnap Ukrainian children."

Kostyuk went on to express her frustration at the expectation to separate her professional life from her personal experiences. She criticized Russia and Belarus for their actions in the war against Ukraine, which she describes as a "genocide of the Ukrainian people."

"This is genocide of the Ukrainian people, this is not politics. We are not at the level of kindergarten here, when someone says they love you or hate you. Love or hate someone is an emotion. Respecting is not. So I simply cannot respect this position when it comes to events that fundamentally change the world like war. That's what I think about all of this."


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