Tennis superstar Roger Federer has come under fire from climate activists including Greta Thunberg over his partnership with Swiss financial giant Credit Suisse.
Federer is the global face of Credit Suisse, a company that has invested billions of dollars into the fossil fuel industry.
Environmentalists recently put their foot down over Credit Suisse’s financial support of an industry that they say is ruining the environment, with 12 protesters storming an office of the company in Federer’s home country of Switzerland.
The protesters swiped Fed by dressing as tennis players and whacking tennis balls inside the building, while two of the young activists held a banner featuring a pointed message at the Swiss maestro.
“Credit Suisse is destroying the planet. Roger, do you support them?”
Climate activist group 350.org Europe recently shared a social media post about the protest, which featured another message aimed at Federer.
“Credit Suisse has provided $57 billion to companies looking for new fossil fuel deposits” – Roger Federer do you endorse this?” the post read.
The post was closed off with the hashtag “RogerWakeUpNow” – and was shared by teenage activist Thunberg, although she has since deleted her retweet on Twitter.
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Federer replied to the criticism on Saturday, saying he takes climate change “very seriously”, however he didn’t directly address his relationship with Credit Suisse.
“I take the impacts and threat of climate change very seriously, particularly as my family and I arrive in Australia amid devastation from the bush fire,” Federer said.
Roger Federer responds to Greta Thunberg’s ‘wake up’ swipe
“As the father of four young children and a fervent supporter of universal education, I have a great deal of respect and admiration for the youth climate movement, and I am grateful to young climate activists for pushing us all to examine our behaviours and act on innovative solutions.
“We owe it to them and ourselves to listen.
“I appreciate reminders of my responsibility as a private individual, as an athlete and as an entrepreneur, and I’m committed to using this privileged position to dialogue on important issues with my sponsors.”
The climate change activists that stormed the Credit Suisse office recently appeared in court – however they are refusing to pay a fine, with their lawyers saying the activists were acting as whistleblowers for the climate emergency.
Credit Suisse recently revealed it is “seeking to align its loan portfolios with the objectives of the Paris Agreement and has recently announced in the context of its global climate strategy that it will no longer invest in new coal-fired power plants”.
Fed joins other superstars in bushfire fundraiser
Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Nick Kyrgios will headline a charity event ahead of the Australian Open that will have a new air quality policy as organisers grapple with issues related to the bushfire crisis.
Tennis Australia chief Craig Tiley announced on Wednesday that the Rally for Relief will be held on Rod Laver Arena on the evening of January 15 with proceeds going to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal.
Tiley also confirmed the Open will go ahead as scheduled with an air quality policy in place after concerns had been raised about the potential for smoke from bushfires burning in Victoria’s east to affect the health of players and fans.
“This is a new experience for not only us but across the world in this sport,” Tiley said.
“But we lead the world with the extreme heat policy and we expect to do the same around air quality.
“We do have three stadiums with roofs so play will always continue.
“But what will be new is that we will have some real-time (air quality) monitoring on-site and we’ll use that analysis to make some decisions around the safety and well-being of players and fans.
“I think the players understand that this is not something that we can do anything about and they’ve been gracious and very cooperative.
Novak Djokovic has helped Serbia advance to the ATP Cup final.
“They want to play.”
Rafael Nadal, Naomi Osaka, Caroline Wozniaki and Stefanos Tsitsipas will also take part in Rally for Relief, with more players to be announced.
“I’m really proud of the playing group because the number of calls and emails I’ve got with everyone stepping forward and either giving money or making themselves available,” Tiley said.
“The format is going to be pretty cool … it’s going to be a combination of fun and seriousness.”
Nick Kyrgios has struggled to contain his emotions while talking about the bushfires affecting Australia.
World No.2 and ATP players’ council president Novak Djokovic said he had been impressed with Tennis Australia’s action since flagging the risks last week.
“It was the right move; there’s been a lot of talk and I’m really glad that Tennis Australia’s taking all the necessary measures,” he said ahead of Serbia’s move from Brisbane to Sydney for the ATP Cup quarterfinals.
“They have the three covered courts plus the eight additional indoor courts, which is going to be enough if it comes to the extreme conditions.”
Tickets are available from Ticketmaster with all proceeds going to bushfire disaster relief charities.
This content was originally published here.