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stanleybmanly's avatar

Should the Winter Olympics be boycotted if genocidal treatment of the Uighurs persists?

Asked by stanleybmanly (24128points) June 4th, 2021 from iPhone

Isn’t this clearly a case of money where your mouth is?

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21 Answers

JLoon's avatar


No more rewards or excuses for human rights violations by the Chinese or anyone else.

sorry's avatar

I’m confused. It’s being hosted by Japan, not China. If the host country was China, I’d say, ‘YES, don’t go’. And, it’s the Winter Olympics… or as we call it, the fortnight of Norwegian Medal Collection . The regular Olympics is a far greater cultural event. China barely shows up to the Winter Olympics. Its not their thing.

JLoon's avatar

@sorry – Don’t be confused. Or mistaken.

Japan is hosting the SUMMER Olympics, right now. Beijing is host city for the Winter Olympics, scheduled for February 2022 :

So keep the US team home, and invite all those Scandanavian gold prospectors to Alaska.

sorry's avatar

Ah, that was a weird search result I got then! (I don’t have a TV, so I have little to do with topics I’m not interested in) That should teach me for trying to google before coffee. That should give you some indication of how much I care about sports. I don’t give a fluff. Nothing is going to change China’s way it treats their people. You’d have better chance of changing the Borg.

sorry's avatar

You know what might be more effective? If people stopped buying things made in China.

JLoon's avatar

@sorry – You mean like the Winter Olympics?

Great idea ;)

sorry's avatar

@JLoon I don’t think money should be made from sports and there is nothing non-professional about the Olympics anymore. It’s become a meaningless display in a capitalist market.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@sorry The Olympics to my mind has come to be pretty much a farce and waste of time and money. But nothing matters more to China than the loss of face associated with attention drawn to its persecution of the Uyghurs, and any rejection of China’s projected image as a “normal” nation directed by a “benevolent” and humane government. This on the heels of the “Hunan” virus would be a major setback to that projection.

sorry's avatar

@stanleybmanly in 2008, they hosted the Summer Olympics, right? Did anyone boycott that one? Also, as my nephew has started saying, ‘There is no ethical consumption in a capitalist market.’ I think he’s right.

stanleybmanly's avatar

The truth of that is irrelevant. What IS relevant is the IMAGE and ILLUSION of ethical conduct. The games themselves are consistently predictable financial boondoggles for any nation hosting them, and in China’s case, the risks from tens of thousands of “foreigners” circulating within its isolated population and exposing said population to the outside “contamination” of liberal ideas is a big deal. The Olympics must matter to them quite a bit.

elbanditoroso's avatar

The Chinese aren’t going to change their ways, no matter what or who blocks them. Being an authoritarian government means never having to say you’re sorry.

So many athletes would be deprived of their futures by calling off or boycotting the Olympics. They shouldn’t be the ones suffering.

Finally, so many Olympics have been boycotted for one political reason or another, the whole concept of a free Olympics for the benefit of athletics has gone out the window. So it’s pretty iffy anway.

My two cents: Have the games, let the athletes do their thing, and take politics out of the equation.

ucancallme_Al's avatar

Keep politics out of sport.

Zaku's avatar

How about persuading the Olympic committee not to hold the Winter Games in China? (Perhaps too late at this point.)

stanleybmanly's avatar

How do you remove the politics from an event wherein hosting is an opportunity for status and showing off?

sorry's avatar

@stanleybmanly only to folks paying attention. I had no idea. Still don’t. Still don’t care.

stanleybmanly's avatar

So YOU personally are not a believer, and neither am I. Does that matter?

sorry's avatar

@stanleybmanly in a capitalist economy, i can only vote in that way, with what I purchase or don’t purchase. I have no other power other than to say things out loud. But I’m a nobody on that platform, so I may as well be spitting into the wind.

Zaku's avatar

Saying new things and changing popular conversations seems to me actually one of the most powerful things there is.

For example, that’s why China massacred thousands of unarmed protesters in Tiananmen Square in 1989, and why it does whatever it can to prevent people talking about it, for example.

It might be more effective aid (than boycotting) for the Uyghur people to use the occasion of the Winter Olympics and its publicity, to add conversations there about the genocide (and/or about Tiananmen Square, and/or about Hong Kong protest suppression, and/or about Chinese actions against Tibet, and/or about Chinese policy towards Taiwan, and/or about Chinese censorship, etc).

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

It might be more effective aid (than boycotting) for the Uyghur people to use the occasion of the Winter Olympics and its publicity, to add conversations

How? I think they have no access to the press. I think they can’t travel to protest outside the venues. And any protests near the venues will be snuffed before they can make an impression.

Zaku's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay I tried to put too many ideas in one sentence, without clear punctuation. I meant:

It might be more effective aid (than boycotting) (for the Uyghur people) to use the occasion of the Winter Olympics and its publicity, to add conversations

That is, rather than outsiders boycotting, it might be more effective for outsiders to use social media to add comments about the genocidal treatment of Uyghur people to media sites and social media conversations about the Winter Olympics.

janbb's avatar

For some interesting background comparison, I did a little reading on the 1936 Olympics which were held in Nazi Berlin:

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