Wednesday, August 7, 2013

THIS is How to Deal With Russia in 2014

From Outsports
Why debate the exclusion of American, Canadian, British and other athletes when it's the Russians that are in violation here? The new Russian law is in clear and direct conflict with the Olympic Charter, creating a system of discrimination that forces LGBT athletes into a life of fear and isolation. 
"The practice of sport is a human right," the charter reads. "Every individual must have the possibility of practising sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play." 
That's not just an isolated sentence in the midst of dozens of charter pages, it's right up front in the section called "Fundamental Principles of Olympism." That's "fundamental" as in "essential to the existence of the Olympics." And the law doesn't just violate one word of it or a clause, it violates the entire statement.
In 1964, the IOC banned South Africa from Olympic competition because of the nation's apartheid policies. Despite the South Africans claiming they would add black athletes to their Olympic team that year, the IOC demanded the South African government publicly renounce all racial discrimination in sport. The white majority government in South Africa refused, and they were banned from Olympic participation until 1992. 
Similarly, Rhodesia was banned from the Olympics just four days before the 1972 Munich Games began because of anti-black racist policies in the nation. That nation, which collapsed in 1979, never competed in an Olympic Games. 
Afghanistan was banned from the 2000 Summer Games because of human-rights violations against women under the Taliban; They were re-admitted four years later upon the inclusion of female Olympians. Germany was banned from several Games for their involvement in World War I and World War II.
In other words, instead of nations boycotting the games, the IOC should ban Russia. Given that this upcoming Olympics is in Russia, the point would be driven home even further.

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