On speaking out

Zach sends over an article about a recent threat (later rescinded) to force British Olympians to not speak out against China when they’re there for the summer games.

I can see the obvious upside for countries (especially those who have strong economic ties to China) in not having their athletic representatives to be making political statements and endangering those relationships. Shut up and run! But the Olympics is always about politics, and if you’re going to have a free nation you have to allow freedom of expression. And that can lead to Flo-Jo or someone more radical.

Also, while I support the right of British or American athletes or whoever to go to China and criticize that nation for Darfur/Tibet/labor standards/Yao Ming’s inability to run the fast break, I think it’s easier to criticize a foreign land. Imagine if our best athletes used an Olympics in New York to question the war on terror. That’d be truly courageous activism.

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3 Responses to “On speaking out”

  1. zachary Says:

    i believe that picture is criticizing their own government. you ever see interviews on scorecenter with the white 2nd place dude? i think hes australian. i think the first place dude told him theyre were gonna do something and he basically said i support you, thats fine.

    and the olympics is THE stage that an athlete should be able to show activism. id rather have my athletes showing activism then strange growth patterns, deeper voices, acne and shrunken testicles…

    if i were lebron id be wearing a “free tibet” shirt every day before the bball game. although, then the Chinese might stop making his shoes…

  2. sloan Says:

    well, the criticism wouldn’t exactly be directed at the people making the shoes. but nike would go apeshit.

    yeah, both of the americans who did the black power thing at the 1968 olympics in mexico ended up being pallbearers at the australian silver medalist’s funeral. interesting story.

  3. zachary Says:

    ahhh yes, thats right.

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