Political Boycott’s Intersection with Sporting Events
Time and time again political boycotts occur and carry over into sporting events. They often have an effect on the athletes and teams involved. Depending on the sporting event, international and national conflicts have influenced athletes to express their opinion in an offensive way or by taking a stand in some form against the issue. Countries that take part in the Olympic games have been known to boycott one another. In some cases, countries will not attend the Olympic games based on where they are held. Other sporting events like soccer that involve international competition have experienced boycotts as well. Sports and politics intersected when the Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan towards the end of 1979. Political figures such as President Carter called upon the U.S. Olympic Committee to boycott the Games. More than forty countries called off their participation in Moscow's Olympic games in 1980, including Germany and the USA. Ultimately just eighty-one countries participated in the games held in Russia's capital. Not only did this issue effect the 1980 Olympic games, but as well as the 1984 Olympic games. The Soviet Union along with about a dozen allied states, refrained from participating in the sporting event held in Los Angeles, California. The Soviet Union’s “reasoning” behind their lack of involvement was caused by concerns that not enough security was provided for Olympic athletes at the games. Another argument arose in Beijing during the 2008 Olympic games when the Chinese government was hostile towards the people of Tibet. The Chinese demonstrated this treatment towards other acts of human rights abuses as well. Talk about cancelling the Olympics came about, but because no major boycotts occurred the Olympics carried on as planned. A more current issue involves the 2012 European soccer championship matches held in Ukraine. The imprisonment of ex-premier, Yulia Tymoshenko, has led to possible...
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