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Amid Growing Tensions and Protests, Wimbledon Amps Up Security as Stringent Measures Brought in Place to Address the Safety of Players

Published 07/01/2023, 8:04 AM EDT

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Protests have become extremely common in sports across the globe, especially the ‘Just Stop Oil’ protests. The players find themselves at risk of being injured owing to the pitch invasions by the protestors. Moreover, it stops the momentum and flow of the game and makes life difficult for security. Recently, we have seen such protests in multiple sports all over Europe.

The ‘Just Stop Oil’ protestors resort to vandalism on the pitch in order to make their voice heard. The protest group managed to vandalize the snooker table during April’s World Snooker Championship. In the ongoing Ashes test match between England and Australia, the protestors were on the field right after the commencement of the match. The Wimbledon authorities fear that they might be the next victim of these protests now which has forced them to take certain measures.

Wimbledon announces tight security

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Wimbledon authorities have notified the Army about the protestors. The authorities gave the green light to the Army to intervene in case a protestor enters the court. They do not want the players to take matters into their own hands while dealing with protestors.

Michelle Dite, the operations manager for the All England Club, said via the Express UK, “The safety and security of all our players, colleagues and visitors is paramount. Based on what has happened at other sporting events, and on the advice from our key partners, we have reviewed our security plans. We have plans in place to mitigate the risks working in partnership with specialist agencies and the Metropolitan Police and should an incident occur the appropriate specialist teams will respond.”

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It feels like a necessary move at this point because of the increase in protests and its damages. In fact, last year we did see a protestor halting play at a grand slam semi-final.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Appalling Scenes at French Open 2022 as Agitator Storms the Court to Do a Bizarre Protest

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When a protestor stopped play at Roland Garros

Last year’s Roland Garros semi-final between Marin Cilic and Casper Ruud was interrupted when a protestor tied herself to the net. The protestor wasn’t a part of the ‘Just Stop Oil’ group, but it was another environment-related protest. The match was stopped for close to 15 minutes as the security tried to untie the protestor.

It wasn’t the first time when protestors invaded the Phillipe Chatrier court. The 2009- and 2013-men’s finals were halted by protestors too. The latter was much more severe as it involved flares as well.

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Watch This Story: Venus Williams Turns to Social Media to Share Sister Serena Williams’ Annoying Moves at Her Home

What do you think is the best way to tackle protestors? Do let us know in the comments!

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Written by:

Raghav Tikmany

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Raghav Tikmany is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. After completing his under-graduation in Commerce, his passion for sports encouraged him to take up content writing in the field of sports journalism. He has prior experience in text commentary.
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Edited by:

Aayush Kapoor