If I was part of a squad going to these countries – I would go there as a gay man and be the best at what I was doing and prove that their laws can not stop me at being the best I can be in my sport. Athletes often only have one chance to be the best and they have worked so hard to get there that nothing should hold them back.”
— Out former rugby champ Gareth Thomas in an interview with Youtube’s sports channel Sportlobster TV
It’s one thing for someone like Wentworth Miller or Cher to boycott working in Russia. For them, they would’ve been in Russia for a simple gig. But for these athletes, it’s a completely different story. All of them have worked in their respective sport for nearly their entire lives to compete in the Olympics. A chance to represent your nation, and possibly win a medal, is a dream. I can’t imagine they would ever think to just put that aside for injustices that are out of their control. Yes, on a level their ambition is selfish. But, to demand that they give up their opportunity is a tad selfish on our part. What are we giving up in this?
We have to remember where the blame goes for these grave injustices against our brothers and sisters. It belongs to the government of Russia. Their accomplices are people and corporations within and outside of Russia who use our money to support the country. They are the ones who deserve our anger and superior trolling skills. We should support our athletes to excel even more now, so that they can be proof that free life is possible, despite the stranglehold of oppression.
I never heard an athlete dismiss the world competition steeped in rich HUMAN history.
I agree that the athletes aren’t exactly noble. But, I think instead of just writing them off as completely uncaring, we should encourage the out athletes to be “Loud and Proud” if they feel they must compete.
A question just came to me: Wouldn’t we boycott EVERY country that held the Olympics for Human Rights violations?