Skip to comments.Why We Shouldn't Boycott the Olympics
Posted on 08/11/2013 9:21:01 AM PDT by Kaslin
It's like 1980 all over again. There's a war in Afghanistan, the economy is lousy, Paul McCartney has a new record coming out, and some people are calling for the United States to stay away from the upcoming Olympics in Russia.
When the first talk of another Olympic boycott arose, no one took it very seriously. It came from Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who enjoys far more face time on Sunday morning talk shows than influence over U.S. policy, and who is upset about Edward Snowden. But the idea could be gaining traction.
Some gay rights advocates, from both the United States and Russia, have urged the U.S. and other countries to stay away from Sochi this winter to protest an anti-gay law signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in June. The law makes it a crime to engage in "propaganda" in favor of "nontraditional" sexuality among minors, which is an ominously wide net.
Human Rights Watch has said the law "is clearly incompatible with the Olympic Charter's promotion of 'human dignity,' as well as a blatant violation of Russia's international legal obligations to guarantee non-discrimination and respect for freedom of expression." Comparisons have even been heard to the 1936 Berlin Olympics, presided over by Adolf Hitler. On Friday, though, President Barack Obama said he does not favor a boycott.
It's true that the Olympic Games can be exploited for the benefit of a repressive, authoritarian government. But everyone knew all along that Putin's government views personal liberty with suspicion and malice.
It's not clear, though, that Russia is less free than China -- which was allowed to host the 2008 Summer Games. In both cases, the International Olympic Committee decided not to use human rights as the main criterion for choosing a site.
Maybe it should. But that would mean restricting the games to liberal democracies -- which could lead other governments to withdraw on grounds of second-class treatment. This approach, like a boycott, would undermine one of the central purposes of the Olympics: fostering international understanding and friendship. It would separate the world into good guys and bad guys, instead of building bridges between the two.
Back in ancient Greece, the games took place under a truce. "Wars were suspended, armies were prohibited from entering Elis (the site of the first Olympics) or threatening the Games, and legal disputes and the carrying out of death penalties were forbidden," notes the Perseus Digital Library Project at Tufts University. That allowed enemies to meet without hatred or bloodshed. To stay away from the event because it is being held in a place inhospitable to our values is to miss the point.
The International Olympic Committee says it has "received assurances from the highest level of government in Russia that the legislation will not affect those attending or taking part in the Games." If police were going to drag protesting medalists off of the podium, a different approach would be warranted. But Putin isn't likely to do something that would impress his brutality upon the world.
The last U.S. boycott, in 1980, suggests that refusing to participate will accomplish nothing of value. It was a protest of the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. But the Soviets stayed there until 1989.
What the protest did achieve was to punish blameless athletes who had trained for years for the chance to compete in the ultimate contest. Many of them lost the chance forever. The same thing happened in 1984, when the Soviets and their satellite states paid us back by spurning the Los Angeles Games. They had no more effect on our government's policies than we had on theirs.
It's true that host governments endeavor to strengthen their hold on power by showing themselves off in the most flattering light. But as the Chinese can attest, the games also invite intense worldwide scrutiny, which in the modern media age is likely to trump any gains.
By singling out gays for discrimination, the Russian government has invited athletes to find ways to signal their belief in equal treatment -- before the eyes of the Russian people and the world. In the end, the games are likely to highlight the flaws of the ruling regime, not conceal them.
Will the games make an important contribution toward expanding gay rights and human rights in Putin's Russia? No. But that's not their purpose. Their purpose is to showcase individual excellence, honest striving and peaceful competition across national boundaries. It's not everything, but it's enough.
Stop speaking for us.
You can bet a fag will win the Men's Figure Skating Gold.
Surely they can control their urges for 16 days or however long it is...
Gerbils skittering all over the ice.
Bambi was trying to draw a parallel where Jesse Owens went to the 1936 Olympics and proved to the white aryan supremicist Hitler that Blacks could actually defeat the self-styled master race, when he came home with 4 Gold Medals and some records. That was an uplifting story.
However, Bambi’s new arrival at being a Gay-phile is misplaced when he “hopes” some Gays teach Russia a lesson.
Notice the coward never lets out a peep around Muslim countries where Gay-dom is likewise banned.
>>t’s like 1980 all over again. There’s a war in Afghanistan, the economy is lousy, Paul McCartney has a new record coming out<<
And we have the worst President in history (even worse than the one in 1980).
16 days is too long for an ass muncher. I’ll show one of these fags a young kid in a boy scout uni, and watch their hormones go full-blown poofter ballistic.
“Some gay rights advocates, from both the United States and Russia, have urged the U.S. and other countries to stay away from Sochi this winter to protest an anti-gay law signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in June.”
This is the real reason behind Lindsey’s sudden hostility towards the Russians.
The ENTIRE coverage of the Winter Olympics will probably be:
1) Interviewing as many athletes as possible about the Russian law.
2) Looking for the first protest and point ALL the cameras at it, as if it’ll be the only thing going on.
3) Interviewing ALL the partners of sodomite athletes - including the ones the media snuck in to Russis just to cause a controversy.
4) counting the number of rainbow flag lapel pins on athletes.
5) Counting the number of rainbow flags flown as the athletes march in
6) Waiting hoping with baited breath for the first sodomite to win a medal - of any kind; followed by the expected call of congratulations from the White House.
7) Counting the number of medals won by sodomites.
8) A constant discussion on how the whole thing is hurting Russia’s image.
Oh and about the games? Who cares, as this is what the western nations will be bombarded with. NBC will of course claim they have a right to all footage and will ONLY show their biased coverage. Who knows - they may even send Mr. Maddow to cover it as an anchor.
For this reason, I would make it a point to only watch a program where someone you know is directly affected, or where your life may be directly impacted. Everything else will be the blurred vision of a western culture gone south. Good chance to take a 3 week break from TV anyway.
Yeah, yeah I know. But those sensitivity classes never worked on me, anyway.
We do have indeed the worst president in history. there is no doubt about it.
Better idea: Toss the entire Olympics into the trash can. Permanently.
Since these are the WINTER games, Obambi just has to pander to one of his support groups. If it were the summer games then he would have two groups to placate. My guess is he will eventually in true Obambi style split the baby by just saying nothing at all.
Hold the Olympics in Saudi Arabia and get back to me.
The Russian’s don’t behead Gays, but the Arabs do.
Don’t want to miss track and field and the balance beam.
Obama would make Carter look like a saint in regrards to worse presidents.
I could care less about sodomites in the olympics in russia. If they have laws against this perversion, I say good on ‘em’!However, I WOULD boycott the games on general principals for being played in russia...or frisco for what it is worth.
Do they also urge the avoidance of petroleum produced by Arab Muslims who stone homosexuals to death?
If not, then there's no reason to stay away from Sochi.
Will never happen. The Olympics are simply a good will tour for the nations via sports.