EDITORIAL: Games should be open to all

Russia's new homosesxuality law taken to task by George Takei

Actor George Takei has started a petition to have the Sochi Olympic Games moved from Russia to Canada.

U.S. President Barack Obama has cancelled a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

While Obama’s reasons for cancelling the summit are many, one of them is Russia’s crackdown on civil rights … namely new laws that almost make homosexuality a crime.

Takei, a well-known gay rights activist, has that as a specific reason for wanting the Olympics moved from that country. Foreign Affairs Minister has John Baird denounced Russia’s controversial new anti-gay law as hateful. Kudos to Baird, Takei and Obama for taking a stand. It’s time, however, that the International Olympic Committee took a stand.

Too often the powers-that-be hold their nose and look the other way when dealing with countries rife with human rights abuses.

Or, they rationalize that in doing business with such countries, the abusers will see the folly of their ways and change. That simply doesn’t happen.

When it comes to the Olympics, the IOC is the first to tout itself as a worldwide organization touting inclusiveness, etc.

In fact, the second principle stated in the Olympic Charter reads: “The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of humankind, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity.”

The sixth principle in the charter reads: “Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race,  religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement.”

So what does the International Olympic Committee have to say about Russia instituting homophobic laws?

“The International Olympic Committee is clear that sport is a human right and should be available to all regardless of race, sex or sexual orientation. The Games themselves should be open to all, free of discrimination, and that applies to spectators, officials, media and of course athletes.

We would oppose in the strongest terms any move that would jeopardize this principle. As you know, this legislation has just been passed into law and it remains to be seen whether and how it will be implemented, particularly as regards the Games in Sochi.

As a sporting organization, what we can do is to continue to work to ensure that the Games can take place without discrimination against athletes, officials, spectators and the media. To that end, the IOC has received assurances from the highest level of government in Russia that the legislation will not affect those attending or taking part in the Games.”

In other words, hold your nose and dive right in.

Prince George Free Press

 

Just Posted

Outdoor classroom coming to Huband Park Elementary

The project has been a collaboration of various community groups, says PAC member

Marijuana to be legal in Canada Oct. 17: Trudeau

Prime Minister made the announcement during question period in the House of Commons

Campbell River schools, First Nations preserve traditional tongue

Project uses new technology to promote language to kids

Public to have say about pot

Senate passes Cannabis Act

A talent in the making

Pats consider 16-year-old a leader

In reversal, Trump signs executive order to stop family separation

President had been wrongly insisting he had no choice but to separate families apprehended at border

50 new fires sparked in B.C. after lightning strikes across province

Similar conditions seen at the beginning of 2017 wildfire season

B.C. woman graduates high school at age 92

Nanaimo’s Joan Deebank the oldest high school graduate ever in B.C., as far as ministry can confirm

B.C. Appeal Court rules lottery winner must be paid back $600,000 loan

Enone Rosas won $4.1 million in a lottery in 2007 and loaned a portion to a friend

17th Street to be repaved

Motorists can expect closures and detours

B.C. man surprised after used needle falls from sky

A Vernon resident said a syringe fell out of the sky and landed at his feet

Y2K Spitfire comes home

Stocky Edwards guest of honour at banquet

Liquor review finds issues with B.C. wholesale monopoly

Report calls for ‘conflict of interest’ in system to be fixed

Police look for driver of blue Jeep who may have helped at fatal crash

A 19-year-old girl was killed in a crash near Delta on June 2

Most Read