Former World No.1 Maria Sharapova has been criticized for downplaying the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
The five-time Grand Slam champion took to social media to share a message, stating "With each day that goes by, I am more and more heartbroken and deeply saddened by the images and stories of families and children affected by this escalating crisis in Ukraine. I am donating to Save the Children’s crisis relief fund, an organization working tirelessly to provide food, water, and aid kits to support those in need.
Please join me in making a donation. I pray for PEACE and send my love and support to all those affected. Link in my bio to donate."
Despite the message's benign nature, critics were quick to point of that she never mentioned Russia's invasion of Ukraine as 'war' but rather chose to label it as the 'crisis in Ukraine'.
Although Sharapova has not responded to any of these criticisms, it should be noted that the Russian media has not officially acknowledged the ongoing events as war. Furthermore, there is also a law that provides up to 15 years in prison for those who speak in Russia of war or invasion of Ukraine.