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The identity of the protestor who got booted out of Wimbledon for yelling 'where is Peng Shuai' has been revealed.
Aussie man Drew Pavlou, a renowned activist Down Under, claims he was 'assaulted' while bing forcibly removed from Centre Court during the final between Nick Kyrgios and Novak Djokovic and has now spoken out on the incident.
For anyone lucky enough to actually be inside Centre Court, they would have seen a commotion going on in the upper stands early on in the match.
As for the rest of us watching from home, we noticed play was halted for a few seconds with both Kyrgios and Djokovic glancing up into the bleachers.
It was hard to make out exactly what was going on with the broadcasters refusing to show footage.
Shortly after the match ended and Djokovic was crowned champion, we learned a spectator has been kicked out of the arena for allegedly yelling 'where is Peng Shuai'.
Security crash tackled me for holding a #WhereIsPengShuai sign at the Wimbledon Final, threw me head first down the stairs and then smashed me up against the wall. I didn’t mean to cause so much disruption, just wanted to speak up for an innocent woman being persecuted pic.twitter.com/AGxdDOMc2G— Drew Pavlou (@DrewPavlou) July 10, 2022
Now the man in question has come forward to give his side of the story, accusing Wimbledon security of using excessive force to silence him.
In the wake of the incident, Pavlou tweeted: "Just got thrown down the stairs by Wimbledon security for holding up a sign saying #WhereIsPengShuai. One of them smashed my head into the wall."
He accompanied the tweet with a picture of his grazed wrist.
Pavlou then went on to give a detailed statement of what exactly unfolded.
"I held up a sign at the Wimbledon Final saying “Where Is Peng Shuai.” I shouted “Where Is Peng Shuai, Chinese tennis star persecuted by the Chinese government, why won’t Wimbledon say something?” Security pushed me over one of the rows and we all tripped over it," he tweeted.
The moment @DrewPavlou gets escorted out of Wimbledon Centre Court for holding a sign saying #WhereIsPengShuai?— Free Tibet (@freetibetorg) July 10, 2022
Drew claims security threw him down the stairs, injuring his wrist and head. #Wimbledon pic.twitter.com/TsBivhTYde
"Then one of the security guards who tripped, a guy in a blue Hawaiian shirt, he wanted to get back at me and hurt me, he pushed me with full force down the steps and I fell head first. He then grabbed me and smashed me up against the wall and twisted my arms behind my back.
"As he smashed me against the wall he said “the police are coming to arrest you now.” team of security treated me like a terrorist, kept my arms twisted really painfully behind my back as they expelled me from the stadium, all while saying they were sympathetic to my cause
As he smashed me against the wall he said “the police are coming to arrest you now.” team of security treated me like a terrorist, kept my arms twisted really painfully behind my back as they expelled me from the stadium, all while saying they were sympathetic to my cause— Drew Pavlou (@DrewPavlou) July 10, 2022
When fans on social media questioned him for disrupting the match, Pavlou hit back.
"I didn’t want to disrupt the match, I just held up the sign and security started attacking me, it was only at that point I shouted out 'Where Is Peng Shuai' because I wanted to get the message out," Pavlou added.
"Sorry Nick Kyrgios. I love you man, hope you win the match."
Interestingly, a reporter said Kyrgios appeared 'distracted' by the incident and asked whether he thinks people should be allowed to protest.
“I didn’t get distracted at all from it,” the Australian tennis star replied.
“I did notice it, [but] that doesn't mean I got distracted by it though.
“I like that you were trying to bait me though, I like that, good try.”
Upon seeing this exchange during the press conference, Pavlou applauded Kyrgios.
He tweeted: "Thank you @NickKyrgios for backing our right to protest for Peng Shuai."
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