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 boycotts against Ukraine for hosting the soccer championship event. The threats to boycott are in response to the seven-year prison sentence given to the Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko as well as to her treatment in jail. Her imprisonment has been viewed as politically inspirational, which is why athletes want to take a stand.
However, the Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s has decided to refrain from getting involved in the debate with other countries. These types of boycotts are always occurring in soccer sporting events and the outcome of them tends to be minimal. Sporting events in relationship with political issues arise because of various cultures coming together in one place. Each country has its own issues, but some involve other countries. The religious views, ethical backgrounds, and government involvement vary between nations making it hard for each of them to understand and respect one another.
Sporting events are meant to unite athletes from all over the world based on their common interest and participation in competitive sports. Since many events are widely viewed, politics always seem to find a way to integrate into international events. With any political issue, there will always be boycotts and other events that allow people to take a stand and express their side of the matter. Bibliography Topend sports network. (2012, 07 28). Retrieved from http://www. topendsports. com/events/summer/boycotts. htm