Olympic Athletes Can’t be Pawns

The word boycott is being thrown around after reports of violence in suppressing protests emerge from Tibet. While France’s foreign minister is considering a boycott of the Olympic Games opening ceremony, most agree that boycotting the games would only hurt the world’s athletes. Canada’s globeandmail.com reports that Canada’s human rights record, like that of many other countries, is not untainted:

China’s Olympic Games may not be targeted for an all-out boycott, but France’s foreign minister has raised prospects of an international protest by keeping the world’s athletes from marching in the opening ceremonies.

Bernard Kouchner said the European Union should consider boycotting the opening of the Beijing Games if the Chinese’ government’s harsh crackdown on demonstrations in Tibet continues. Kouchner was responding to calls for a boycott by the head of the European Parliament and the media watchdog Reporters Without Borders, a reports by The Associated Press said.

Henderson said Canadians have no moral ground on which to argue China’s record on human rights, given Canada’s own record on the treatment of Aboriginals, “I do not support China’s human rights history but the United States’ and Canada’s (history) with our First Nations has not been exemplary either.”

Also, see CDT’s earlier post on boycotting the games.