UK Olympic athletes told not to criticize China

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by SpeedoGuy, Feb 10, 2008.

  1. SpeedoGuy

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  2. dong20

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    They'll probably be too busy choking on the pollution to criticise the Chinese.

    There is a world of difference between "...no kind of demonstration, or political, religious or racial propaganda in the Olympic sites, venues or other areas." and voicing an honest, personal opinion if asked for one.

    They could just say "no comment" but should refuse to sign any such agreement.
     
  3. SpeedoGuy

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    True, but if the report is accurate...

    Athletes who refuse to sign the agreement will not be allowed to travel to compete in the Games from August 8-24, according to a sunday newspaper report.
     
  4. dong20

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    I'm sure the report is accurate.

    Sounds like a potential Mexican standoff. I doubt that such a ban would be legally enforceable, and even if it were the embarrassment would be immense, if top athletes are barred then those countries would do badly. If they cave, they should be ashamed unless they then raise hell in Bejing.

    The IOC are little better than a corrupt cartel, I'd love to see them keel hauled by the media for this.
     
  5. SpeedoGuy

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    I can't speak for the UK but I suspect such a ban might actually be legally enforceable in the US because its not perceived a first amendment issue. The rationale: If an athlete doesn't like the code of conduct the organizing committee sets then that athlete forfeits the expectation of being a member of the team. Such rationale has been successfully used to justify warrantless, suspicionless, random drug test of student athletes in the states.

    I'm dismayed any time a circumstance arises where individuals are "asked" to "voluntarily" suspend their fundamental democratic rights in order to gain some other goal.

    Agreed 100%. My limited experience with amateur sporting organizing committees is that they tend to be filled with overly officious self-important zealots bent on flexing whatever warped authority they can inflict on athletes, sponsors, fans, And these were in cases where very little money was involved. :rolleyes:
     
  6. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    I can imagine that all of the dorm rooms will lock from the outside only and they'll have escorts for everything from going to the bathroom to attending practice.
     
  7. dong20

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    I'm sure that's the IOC's take.

    It seems to me that it could be unconstitutional (or at least deeply ironic and offensive) for a body avowed to being apolitical to seek to curtail it's 'members' right to free speech for overtly political ends, especially if such a request is made under a direct threat of punishment.

    Illegal or not, it's doing the IOC no good.
     
  8. rob_just_rob

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    Tough position to be in. I know someone who missed the 1980 Olympics because of the US-led boycott, and somewhat indirectly know 2 others who missed the 1984 Olympics because of the Soviet boycott. I gather it's a terrible thing to train for something most of your life and then be unable to compete when at the peak of your abilities.

    What's puzzling is that the article seemed to imply that this gag order is coming from the British Olympic committee, and not from China. Athletes from other countries aren't signing anything similar. As d20 says, it would be horribly embarassing for China if top athletes weren't there. That being the case, the smart thing to do would be to (sigh) threaten another boycott if China presses the issue.
     
  9. sdbg

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    My thoughts: The olympic athletes should be respectful while they are in China and not make waves. Enjoy the culture and the experience. Compete and win (hopefully). When you return to your country, you will have the opportunity to tell your stories and to express your opinions, but don't blow a chance in a lifetime by opening your mouth too soon.
     
  10. kalipygian

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    They should not be held in a country that has not achieved a democratic government, or basic human rights.

    (not likely they will be followed by the Gay Games as in Sydney:biggrin1:)

    My regard for Charles crept up a notch when his staff responded to Students for a free Tibet with a statement that he would no be attending the opening ceremonies.

    Support Team Tibet
     
  11. B_Nick4444

    B_Nick4444 New Member

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    :You_Rock_Emoticon:
     
  12. swordfishME

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    Well to me it is the same as the olympics being held in the states and the athletes using that as an opportunity to protest the policies of the drunk hillbilly cheerleader. You are there to compete in an international sporting competition not voice political opinions. If you are that taken aback by the Chinese government's policies that it is best you stay at home.
     
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