$26,000,000 Massive Partnership Brings Whole Lot of Trouble to Wimbledon as Protests Rage Despite Days Into the Competition

Published 07/11/2023, 4:36 PM EDT

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As the heat amongst the competitors rises at the Wimbledon Championships, so do the concerns about the prestigious competition’s partnerships with ‘climate-wrecking’ organizations. And the matter has taken a serious turn. The $25.8 million annual partnership of Barclays with Wimbledon this year has caught the eye of climate change activists, who are making their point clear. One of the most revered majors of all time, the SW19 has been caught in this stirring controversy.

On one hand, we saw renowned celebrities and fans rushing into the stadium to cheer for their favorite players. While on the other hand, a small group of people who were interested in matters more serious than tennis were letting their concerns known.

Wimbledon faces backlash for shaking hands with Barclays


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The grass-court major SW19 has come under the scrutiny of climate change activists as they scorned its move to partner with Barclays. The multinational universal bank has already been under the radar of climate conservation organizations for its investment in climate-wrecking activities.

Consequently, ‘Extinction Rebellion’, a global environmental movement, organized a protest outside Wimbledon. Though other environmental organizations were protesting, it was the ‘Money Rebellion’, an arm of the ‘Extinction Rebellion’ that led the protest. The main agenda was to push the organizers to sever ties with Barclays. The reason behind it is that this bank is one of the most prominent fossil fuel investors, according to a claim made by 63-year-old revered Helen Burnett from Christian Climate Actions.


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The protestors put up slogans like “Shame set and match” and “Wimbledon and Barclays don’t make a love match”. This indicated their discontent regarding the partnership. Moreover, they also kept the symbol of their protest as Dodos. This symbolized that if significant steps were not taken, humans could be extinct, like the flightless bird.

This is not the first time that tennis has gotten indulged in a climate dilemma. Last year, the French Open saw a protestor raising the same issues.

French Open faced criticism from climate activist in 2022

Last year, a 22-year-old climate activist disrupted the semi-finals at the Roland Garros between Casper Ruud and Marin Cilic. She chained herself to the net, protesting against the lack of climate action by the French government.


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Furthermore, her shirt bore the slogan, “We have 1028 days to live,” indicating the urgent need for meaningful action against climate change.


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Do you think Grand Slam organizers should make a conscious choice to abstain from being associated with climate-wrecking organizations in the future? Let us know in the comments below.

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Written by:

Shivali Sharma


One take at a time

Shivali Sharma is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports, who specializes in off-court topics and has a particular focus on the legendary ‘Queen of the Court’, Serena Williams. With a wealth of experience in the industry, Shivali has authored numerous articles covering varied topics concerning the 23-time Grand Slam champion, including her personal life, career, and more. In addition to her work on Serena Williams, Shivali is also a huge fan of Naomi Osaka and admires the four-time Major winner, particularly for her advocacy for mental health.
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Edited by:

Tony Thomas