All Star Panelist Roger Simon Weighs in on the Disappearance of Chinese Tennis Star Peng Shuai


Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist and senior editor-at-large at The Epoch Times Roger Simon in-studio to discuss the possible whereabouts of professional Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai.

Leahy: We are joined in studio by our very good friend, my former boss at PJTV, now an Academy Award-nominated screenwriter. Should have won it, by the way, Roger. And then also currently an editor at large with The Epoch Times. The great writer, Roger Simon. Good morning, Roger.

Simon: Good morning. And where’s my coffee?

Leahy: Yes, I forgot. I’ve got to get better at providing the appropriate libations for our morning guests here, Roger. Lots going on locally and nationally. Of course, we’ve got the hearing on the abortion case going on nationally. But I want to talk to you about an international case. You’re a tennis guy. I want to talk to you about the case of Peng Shuai. Is she alive?

Simon: Well, if I could tell you that I’d be clairvoyant. I have no idea whether she’s alive. My guess is probably yes, that they wouldn’t dare kill her. But who knows?

Leahy: So set the stage where she was an international tennis player. She was ranked top 20 for a period.

Simon: Yes, she was actually number one in doubles for a period. And she had quite a bit of success. She’s a woman, I think about 36 now attractive, which is part of the story because she had on again and off again affair with the married Vice Premier of China. Really a member of their elite borough. Very hugely powerful, very powerful Communist.

Leahy: He is almost equal in power to President Xi. Or dictator Xi. A Chi-com dictator type.

Simon: Exactly. He really used her. And then she wrote the truth about what happened on Weibo or W-E-I-B-O which is their equivalent of Twitter. Quite lengthy. You can find it online with some work. And then she suddenly vanished. So the WTA, the Women’s Tennis Association, got a little upset about it.

Leahy: When did she put this description of her relationship with this Chi-com dictator type?

Simon: About six months ago.

Leahy: And then she vanished.

Simon: She vanished. She wrote a supposed email saying, I’m okay, which sounds like something straight out of Orwell.

Leahy: Has there been a video of her since?

Simon: No, nothing. We don’t know where she is. And the WTA, the Women’s Tennis Association now has refused to play their tournaments in China. They have big tournaments in China, as do the men. And they’ve ended those for this year.

They did what we should all do, which is not go to the Olympics there. So even at CNN, they’re reporting this, Roger. Just a couple of weeks ago that the United Nations has called for proof of Peng Shuai’s whereabouts. And there’s no proof being presented other than an email purportedly by her as if that’s anything resembling proof.

Simon: If you read that email, you realize it sounds like Chi-com talk. (Chuckles) It’s not the email of a person.

Leahy: This from CNN. Peng, who is one of China’s most recognizable sports stars, has not been seen in public since she accused former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of coercing her into sex at his home, according to screenshots of a since-deleted social media post.

Simon: Yeah. You can read that post online. In fact, I read it. It’s quite lengthy, and she criticizes herself. So you read it in a way that you really believe this person 100 percent. I can say that as a writer.

I remember seeing her play tennis. I mean, she’s not to be confused with Serena Williams, but she was a very good player, or probably is. I hope is.

Leahy: We hope she is still alive.

Simon: I hope she’s still alive. Both Serena Williams and Novak Yokovich, the two greatest players in their different sexes. Both made statements in her defense, but so far, no avail. I mean, Jokovic was a big hero in China because he won all these Chinese tournaments, but he’s not going. So it’s an interesting situation.

Leahy: The head of the Women’s Tennis Association, the guy, my name is Steve Simon said, we’re not going to China.

Simon: Yeah. Steve Simon is to be praised because he has the guts to stand up. Most of these officials in sports on Olympic committees,

Leahy: They want the money.

Simon: They want the money and they wimp out. Both.

Leahy: Well, we will track that. And we certainly hope that she’s okay. The Winter Olympics are coming up in Beijing. My view is the United States should not go there at all.

Simon: Not at all. Absolutely not.

Leahy: Peng Shuai, we got to see where she is. And, of course, the genocide going on with the Uighurs. That’s rough stuff.

Simon: The Uyghurs is only part of it.

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Roger Simon” by Roger Simon. Background Photo “Peng Shuai” by Claude Truong-Ngoc CC BY-SA 3.0.















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