Beijing has spoken out against calls for a boycott of the Olympics. This follows the high profile pull-out by film director, Spielberg following China’s failure to act in Darfur. And again the debate is on whether sport should involve itself in politics.
The easy answer is, of course, no. Politics and sport are two different things. But the problem isn’t quite that easy. At the root of sport is the idea of fair play. It is a thing you either believe in or you don’t. So is ‘fair play’ a good assessment of China’s dictatorship?
I think not. Hence, sport can send a message to such countries, and has a duty to say so. But why not get rid of the argument in future. Whilst I would welcome any sportsman from any country to compete, maybe only working democracies should hold the games.
© Anthony North, February 2008