By Paracelsus 43 Comments
Should we boycott the upcoming Sochi Winter Olympics in order to protest the rising tide of homophobic policies by Vladimir Putin's government?(Full disclosure: I am straight)
My view is basically YES- we most definitely should! To argue otherwise is to argue that sport should be separated from politics- an argument so hackneyed and specious that it can apply for its own free pass and Social Security payments- as we saw with the Berlin and Moscow Olympics( 1936 and 1980) and even with the Los Angeles and London ones(1984 and 2012), the host government almost invariably (whether it be dictatorship or democracy) uses the very fact of hosting the world's most prestigious sporting event to promote itself propaganda wise, never mind the "Black Power salute" by African American athletes at the Mexico City Olympics and apartheid era South Africa's long standing exclusion from international sport until the downfall of the white minority government.
It may very well be that even a boycott of the Sochi Olympics will not compel Putin's government to "see reason" on this matter of LGBT rights and political freedom( shades of Pussy Riot) as it is notoriously difficult to get Russian governments( Czarist, Soviet and post-Soviet) to back off on what it terms internal affairs, but at the very least, said boycott will remind Putin( whether he personally subscribes to such bigoted sentiments or cynically panders to his supporters prejudices is unclear and in a sense misses the wider point- which is arguably worse - genuinme bigotry or wilful pandering to prejudice)that the "price tag" for such policies is prohibitively high- as former US Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton said a few years back "Gay rights are human rights!"
Anybody else think as I do?