SI.com - More Sports - EU: Avoid political issues at Games - Thursday February 14, 2008 3:22PM The European Union wants athletes to resist raising human rights and other sensitive political issues during the Beijing Olympics.This is weird. Heavy Or Not, perhaps.
'Sports is too important. It is too important to use it as a political instrument,' Milan Zver, the sports minister of Slovenia, which holds the EU presidency, said Thursday.
Perhaps this is a bit of the 'nonprofit brotherhood' in action, but on the world stage. In Pittsburgh, the nonprofit folks always stick together. For example, the North Side's Childrens Museum wants to see its neighbor, the a historic branch of the Carnegie Library, move away. The buildings are side by side in a park / commons. The two offer great programs for the public that work in harmony with each other. However, the nonprofit weenies that work in one site want to back the others and enable them to move out of the neighborhood.
Only in the world of Pittsburgh nonprofit weenie can you find a person who thinks that the library is a bad neighbor.
Well, here, in the world stage, the EU officials don't want those pesky citizens nor jocks to rain upon their own parade and make a stink about politics. But the parade is on the other side of the world.
Who is the coach of the EU Olympic Team?
How do those with the IOC expect to enforce the notion that athletes can't discuss political issues within the Olympic zones when these people are all decorated in the flags of their home nations?
Zver argues that political pressure through sport doesn't work. He said the boycott of the 1980 Moscow Games was largely politically ineffectual, but did major harm to sport and the Olympics.I agree to a point. The 1980 Olympic boycott was ineffectual. It was bad. Very bad. President Jimmy Carter insisted that the USA team would NOT travel to Moscow to compete. Carter was a jerk with that move. Bad move.
The boycott then, and elsewhere, does hurt sport. They hurt humanity too.
The stupidity of the boycott was found within the statements and actions of the politicians -- NOT the athletes. The screw up as that of the party official working in a capital. The harm was to the athletes, coaches, fans, societies and world of sports. But the talking and the guilty were not those athletes.
It is the E.U. jagoffs that need to see what's what and come down hard in favor of the newest retraction from the Brits. Allow the athletes to speak freely. Allow the games to go on. Allow the play to occur -- without restrictions.
Boycotts suck. So, let's be certain to NEVER repeat the same mistakes. Let's NOT put boycotts onto the backs of the athletes in their actions. And, any IOC boycott of political chatter is going to be ineffectual.