The Australian Open will allow people to wear shirts that say “Where is Peng Shuai?” CEO of Tennis Australia Craig Tiley told Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Tuesday.
His comments come several days after security guards shut down a small protest in support of the Chinese tennis player, in which protesters unfurled a banner saying, “Where is Peng Shuai?” and also wore T-shirts with the slogan.
Guards on Friday initially confiscated the banner, which they later gave back, and told the protesters they could stay if they covered up their T-shirts.
Tiley told AFP that people would be allowed to wear the shirts “as long as they are not coming as a mob to be disruptive but are peaceful.”
He added that some people had come with a banner and two large poles, which will still not be allowed.
“If you are coming to watch the tennis that’s fine, but we can’t allow anyone to cause a disruption at the end of the day,” he told AFP.
CNN has reached out to Tennis Australia for comment but has not yet heard back.
‘Tennis Australia’s words stopped meaning anything’
Max Mok, one of three people involved in the protest, told CNN on Tuesday that he and another protester have ordered 1,000 “Where is Peng Shuai?” T-shirts, which they plan to hand out for free at the tournament on Saturday.
“Tennis Australia’s words stopped meaning anything three days ago, but we will keep them honest, we will keep them to their promise,” Mox told CNN.
On Saturday, CNN Affiliate Channel 7 reported a response from the tournament organizer, which read: “Under our ticket conditions of entry we don’t allow clothing, banners or signs that are commercial or political.”
It added: “Peng Shuai’s safety is our primary concern. We continue to work with the WTA and global tennis community to seek more clarity on her situation and will do everything we can to ensure her wellbeing.”