According to Belarussian media, Aryna Sabalenka has signed a letter along with other athletes in support of Alexander Lukashenko. Belarus has been marred by protest since the disputed election three months ago.
In the first days and weeks after the election, Sabalenka largely remained silent. But her recent actions have been criticized by many as they have been deemed pro-Lukashenko.
Unrest in Belarus has resulted in hundreds of people injured and arrested. Police used stun guns and water cannons to clear protesters off the streets.
Belarussian players such as Victoria Azarenka and Aryna Sabalenka have found politics a difficult topic to navigate. During the US Open, Azarenka said, “It’s breaking my heart to see what’s happening, because not being able to be there and understand the whole situation. It’s really sad, and it’s really difficult to speak about that. But I just hope that all the violence stops immediately, really does, because it’s really heartbreaking. I can’t even speak without tears in my eyes when I think about it.”