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Thread: Boycotting Sochi Olympics

  1. #1

    Default Boycotting Sochi Olympics

    There has been a lot of discussion in Canada recently concerning Canada's participation in the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014. This is due to laws that were passed in Russia which prohibit the distribution of literature or participating in events which promote tolerance and acceptance of gays and lesbians. Violators could face hefty fine or prison sentences. I would argue the purpose of the law is to enshrine the right to remain ignorant and intolerant of marginalized populations and criminalize alternative points of view.

    As a gay person myself, I must admit that the calls for a boycott were appealing at first. What better way for a country to make a political statement about human rights than refusing to participate and showing our moral concerns to a watching world? How could we turn a blind eye to laws that stifled freedom of speech and enlightenment. Having thought it over, I don't think a boycott of the Olympics by the athletes is the answer. This is not to say that we should turn our backs on laws that legalize and promote hatred but there are better forums to address it, particularl

    I heard one gay athlete state that a boycott would only punish the athletes themselves and not make a significant impact on Russian laws. I initially disagreed with that assessment and saw it as a self-serving argument. After all, in any struggle for human rights, sacrifices must be made for the greater good, for example, the civil rights movement. I just don't believe however that the boycotting of a single event will make a significant shift in the country's way of thinking and , furthermore, the issue itself will only get buried at the beginning of the opening ceremonies, regardless of the number of countries participating. There's also the likelihood that a backlash will occur against the gay population in Russia, inciting even more hatred.

  2. #2

    Default Sochi Boycott, part II

    Apologies I hot the send button when I was trying to start the next paragraph. Anyway, there are better ways to influence Russia, particularly at the G20 conference coming up in September, not to mention the ongoing work of Amnesty International.

    More than anything, the International Olympics Committee is about real estate and profit, leaving the host countries in debt ninety per cent of the time. If I were to envision an effective boycott it would be one that targets the sponsors of the Olympics.

  3. #3


    The US boycotting the last 1980 Olympics (Moscow) and the resultant Soviet-bloc boycott of the LA Olympics hurt nobody except the athletes and their fans. It did nothing politically, socially, or economically.

  4. #4


    The Olympics should not be about politics. But it has been going on for a long time. The Olympics is about show casing our people's strengths in their sports.

    As for the debt , it should be that each country help fund that years events. Sadly to say but like everything else it is bought and paid for by big cooperation's. If the cooperation's want to make a profit from the games let them fund them completely. Is there anything that is not bought and paid for these day's including our governments?

  5. #5


    The whole purpose of the Olympics was to put aside differences, and have a friendly, open sporting event to please the gods. To put it simply, boycotting them is like slapping hundreds of years of tradition in the face.

    If you wish to take reasonable action, be a friendly, respectable person, gay or not. You're not a Russian citizen, so the most you can do is be in support, but not cause any turmoil.

  6. #6


    Some times our World leaders act more like spoiled children than Adults. If I can't have it my way I'll take my ball home and no will be able to play. And they way we need to grow up.

  7. #7


    You should have edited the post rather than creating a whole new thread. Now we have two going in parallel, can the MODS please merge these?

  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by willnotwill View Post
    You should have edited the post rather than creating a whole new thread. Now we have two going in parallel, can the MODS please merge these?
    Already requested such.

  9. #9


    Sorry for screwing it up with the two posts. I was really annoyed when it happened and I hoped to articulate my point a bit more clearly but I was just so damned flustered after it happened. I also type slowly and I hate my tablet. I may do a separate rant on that some other time! Apologies again, everyone.

  10. #10


    I thought this was a good article - Why Russia Turned Against The Gays (I know BuzzFeed - but Miriam Elder was a Moscow correspondent for a REAL newspaper for years)

    If we really wanted to hurt the Russian government using an international sporting event, we'd forget about the Winter Olympics (because Winter Olympics? WHO CARES??) We'd take their World Cup away from them. However the fact that it's a near dictatorship with widespread Human Rights abuses hasn't figured in FIFA's or the IOC's minds before now, so I don't see why this would change perspectives over a LGBT issues - there may be some out gay people in Winter Sports, but there are virtually nill in football.

    The general public in Russia is very nationalist, they don't give a damn what Europeans and North Americans think of them and their values.

    International boycott worked against Apartheid South Africa because the National Party pretended themselves as part of the European family, and the defenders of "Western values" in South Africa - and it's hard to do that if the rest of the European family regards you as the crazy racist cousin that no-one wants to have over to play Cricket or Rugby with. It's also hard on you when they stop buying your fruit and wine. And then almost stop trading with you altogether.

    Russia doesn't pretend to be anything other than it is, and it doesn't aspire to anything other than prosperity and power. As far as consumer boycotts go:
    Look at what Russia exports - it's not as if your petrol station has pumps labelled "North Sea" "Saudi Arabia" "Russia" - it's all unleaded and you take what you get, same for your gas supply. It's not as if you can say you only want ethically sourced aluminium used in your products. Vodka is not a major Russian export, even if it is a prestige one, and it could probably be sold at home or in China if needs be.

    I just don't any real leverage we in the West have over Russia, either on LGBT or other Human Rights concerns, or in it's weapons sales to the Syrian al-Assad regime.
    I'm British and our Foreign policy default for the last 150 years is to worry about what the Russians are up to - but I wouldn't be surprised if the bastards made a play for India next....

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