Roger Federer has been dragged back into the fierce climate change debate, regarding his association with banking giant Credit Suisse, after the hashtag ‘Roger Wake Up Now’ started to trend after a protest.
Federer has been targeted by climate activists in recent times because of his sponsorship arrangement with the Swiss banking giants.
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A dozen Swiss activists appeared in court back in January after refusing to pay a fine for playing tennis inside branches of Credit Suisse last year in a stunt intended to highlight the bank’s fossil fuel investments and “stop people acting like nothing is happening”.
But Federer’s association with the bank became world news earlier this year when young climate change activist Greta Thunberg called out the Swiss maestro in a tweet regarding his sponsorship deal.
Thunberg retweeted a post from 350.org Europe claiming Credit Suisse had given $US57 billion to companies looking for new fossil fuel deposits.
“Roger Federer do you endorse this?” the tweet read.
Now, activists again have reignited the feud after the hashtag ‘Roger Wake Up Now’ trended overnight.
This time, environment activists 350.org tweeted: "Hey Roger Federer, why are you supporting a bank that is fuelling #ClimateBreakdown? #RogerWakeUp & cut all ties with @creditsuisse."
In January @rogerfederer said he was concerned about the climate issue and wanted to discuss it with @CreditSuisse.— 350.org Europe (@350Europe) September 22, 2020
Since then, the bank continues to support fracking and deforestation in the Amazon… #RogerWakeUp & cut ties with @creditsuisse!
A large turnout was present in Bern, Switzerland, where activists occupied the square in protest of climate change.
Federer’s statement to climate change backlash
Back in January, Federer issued a statement addressing his partnership with Credit Suisse after backlash in his home country.
“I take the impacts and threat of climate change very seriously, particularly as my family and I arrive in Australia amidst devastation from the bushfires,” a statement from Federer said.
“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 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.”
Despite his response, many considered it underwhelming considering the uproar.
At the time, according to Simon Briggs of the UK Telegraph: “Federer’s response to Thunberg and company contained plenty of words without making the slightest commitment to changing his relationship with Credit Suisse.”