Roger Federer issues statement after Greta Thunberg tells him to 'wake up'
Tennis star Roger Federer has announced per Reuters that he will be holding talks with his sponsors after being criticized by climate change activists, including Greta Thunberg, for his links with Swiss bank Credit Suisse.
The statement comes after a dozen Swiss climate activists appeared in court on Tuesday for refusing to pay a fine after playing tennis inside some branches of the bank. They did so as a form of protest against the bank's fossil fuel investments.
The activists were fined 21,600 Swiss francs ($22,254) for trespassing at Credit Suisse branches in November 2018.
Relive the moment Greta Thunberg rebukes world leaders at the UN Climate summit:
On Friday, Greta Thunberg retweeted a tweet from 350.org Europe challenging the 20-time Grand Slam champion over his ties with the bank.
"Since 2016 @CreditSuisse has provided $57 BILLION to companies looking for new fossil fuel deposits - something that is utterly incompatible with #ClimateAction @RogerFederer do you endorse this? #RogerWakeUpNow," the tweet reads.
Credit Suisse has since released the following statement in response to the controversy, per Reuters:
"Combating global warming is important. Credit Suisse respects freedom of expression as a fundamental democratic right. [However,] to protect its clients, employees and branches, it does not tolerate unlawful attacks on its branches, irrespective of the perpetrators and their motives."
In response to backlash Federer has received over his links with the bank, of which he is the global face, he also sent a statement to Reuters:
"I take the impacts and threat of climate change very seriously, particularly as my family and I arrive in Australia amidst devastation from the bush fires, 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 behaviors 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."