It is not unusual for Roger Federer to be trending on social media. But on Tuesday evening, #RogerWakeUpNow started trending during protests regarding climate change in Swiss capital Bern.
Federer has been targeted by environmental activists in recent months for his association with Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse.
His association with the bank came under fire in January when Greta Thunberg called out the 20-time Grand Slam champion about the sponsorship deal.
La @greveduclimat occupe depuis lundi la Place Fédérale avec une liste de revendications concernant notamment la place financière. En parallèle ajd à Renens, le ministère public vaudois remet en question l’acquittement des activistes de #RogerWakeUp et demande une condamnation :/ https://t.co/ZKJXBhTKlA
— Grève du Climat Suisse 🔥 #RiseUpForChange (@greveduclimat) September 22, 2020
Credit Suisse, the largest bank in Switzerland, invests heavily in fossil fuel companies with more than $7.8 billion annually shared by over forty of the world’s most powerful companies that contaminate the planet.
“Roger Federer do you endorse this?” the 17-year-old Thunberg had tweeted back then.
On Tuesday, Federer was dragged back into the debate as Swiss climate activists occupied the Fed Square with banners reading ‘Roger Wake Up.’
When we talk from Europe about the Amazonian forest destruction we should know that big banks, such as @CreditSuisse are fuelling it through their support to few major agrobuisness corporations.
— RogerWakeUp (@RogerWakeUpNow) September 22, 2020
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.”
Federer has not commented on the fresh protests yet, but had issued a statement back in January addressing his partnership with Credit Suisse.
“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 the Swiss player, ahead of the Australian Open, read.
— 350.org Europe (@350Europe) September 22, 2020
“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.”
This year, Federer became the first tennis player to top the Forbes list of highest paid athletes. He made a total of $106.3 million in pre-tax earnings, of which $100 million came through endorsements and appearance fees.
The 39-year-old will sit out the rest of 2020 season as he is recovering from knee surgery.