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The user went on to wish that karma would give Sabalenka her comeuppance, to which the youngster responded: “karma does exist, that’s why you are nobody!”
Now the former singles number 9 in the world has issued a back-handed apology for her outburst, blaming her emotions on a campaign of “harassment” online.
“I want to apologise for my comments. I overreacted. I just don’t have the strength to obsessively read these endless callouts.” Sabalenka began in a heartfelt Instagram post.
“But… what targeted harassment! And you want level-headed people to be with you? And do you really think that you’re allowed to decide for me which side I’m on? To insult me and the people who refuse to take part in your alleged fight for justice? Or do you think what you write to me are peaceful statements?”
Unrest in Belarus began in May and has since seen hundreds of people injured and arrested across the country as a result of the police crackdown on protests. On Sunday, riot police cleared mass protests in the city with stun guns and water canons in the capital Minsk. However Sabalenka said she has never condoned violence and has actually spoken out repeatedly against it happening in her homeland.
“I am against violence and publicly expressed that,” she went on. “But I didn’t turn up out of the blue and I cannot close my eyes to all that has been done for the country in general, and for sport in particular. I didn’t call out and I’m not calling out any of you to be on anyone’s side. Especially not with threats and insults.
Sabalenka went on to distance herself from politics and emphasise she had not received any payment from any third party to keep quiet about going on in the country.
“I don’t decide who is detained and who isn’t. I’ve never taken part in any politics and don’t plan to. I will support the athletes of any sports, it’s not important to me which side they are on. And all that you write, it is not peace, it is aggression, animosity and hatred. And all because you did not see your opinion or a port about what you wanted to see… and yes, everyone should have a right to their own opinion. Only that is reprehended. By you. That is all.”
“Again. I am for peace, for those that do their work, for those that do not provoke people to violence, anger and aggression. I am against violence from any side and have never justified it. But everything begins from yourself. If you behave like that which you judge, that is your choice. Everything that I buy or help someone – I do only by those means, which I earned myself. Nobody has given me or paid me anything.”