The news of late has been full of pleas, propositions and petitions calling on a U.S and/or world boycott of the 2008 Beijing Olympics by not sending their athletes. Have all these brains turned to mush?
China, granted, is a very evil empire and no true friend to any country. China eagerly sends their goods around the world and talks nice to diplomats while, at least in the U.S., they are stealing technology. They have had spies in the U.S. for decades — they treat their own citizens like crap and they are building up a war machine that they would use in a second, the second they thought they had a chance of destroying the U.S. or any other world power with a minimum of retaliation. No they are not nice people.
What, however, does that have to do with the Olympics? Nothing! There are Olympic athletes all over the world who have, for all intents and purposes, dedicated their lives for a chance to participate in Olympic events — now some thoughtless clowns are ready to tell them to forget it because the “guy who own the stadium” is not a nice person.
China, as evil as they are, has built the stadium and arranged for all the other facilities; playing in their “ballpark” — the ballpark of the enemy — does not in any way condone or indicate approval of China’s actions, their government or their leaders; to say it does, defies logic. This argument, however, is continually put forth, even by some broadcasters and writers who are normally logical thinkers — that any country who sends their athletes to Beijing is somehow rewarding China for their misbehavior. That is a giant logical disconnect. The 2008 Olympics were rewarded to China by the Olympic Committee, the Olympics should have nothing to do with politics or espionage, and the Olympics should go on with every team from every country participating. A boycott by any country will only hurt that country’s Olympic team and make the Olympics less competitive. China’s ambitions as the only world superpower will not change — they will go on as they always have.
If the world really wants to send a message to Beijing, here’s how it can be done; with personal boycotts. There are individuals, and I’m sure there are many, who will refuse to attend the Olympics in Beijing because of China’s record on human rights. These individuals certainly should boycott the Olympics on that personal level and get their friends and families to join in their boycott. You want petitions? Get people to sign petitions promising not to attend and promising to spread the word. If that type of personal boycott can catch on and, as a result, the Olympic stadium is nearly empty of spectators, China will get the message that they are considered pariahs, not by governments but by the world’s population. Perhaps, in some small way, that will send a message to China’s leaders and perhaps, in a more substantial way, it will send the message to China’s abused citizens, the message that there are citizens all over the world who feel their pain.
The Olympic athletes who are playing to an ’empty house’ will also feel the effect of this type of personal boycott but they must be made to realize that they are playing a role in a new kind of rebellion and they have the support of the people of the world — the same support that these people denied to China.
New York Sun: Darfur Group Adds Olympics Boycott Call
Intersportswire: Why Sports Fans Should Boycott the Beijing Olympics
UWC Student Magazine: Ferrero-Waldner threatens with Olympics Boycott
NOLYMPIA: Don’t let it happen!