The United States Must Completely Boycott the Upcoming Olympics in China

Since their beginnings in Ancient Greece, the Olympics have symbolized a triumph of cooperation between peoples and nations despite their inherent and often severe differences.  Athletes come together to compete on a fair and even playing field, striving to achieve victory  not to win personal glory for themselves, but for their people, their nation.

In the modern day, these characteristics have remained fundamental to the Olympic games.  People around the world can feel pride in their own athletes’ accomplishments, while the host country gains the prestige and recognition through the hospitality and accommodations it provides to participants and representatives from the rest of the world.  The world’s gathering at the Olympics is tacit approval of the host country by the participating countries.  That is why the games were badly stained when they were hosted by Hitler’s Germany in 1936 and why they will again be stained by the Chinese Communist Party’s genocide in 2022.

It is for this very reason that the United States must rally its allies and partners to fully boycott the upcoming Olympic games in Beijing.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has disappeared reporters writing about the Wuhan virus and doctors telling the truth about CCP labs.  They’ve disappeared Peng Shuai, a professional tennis player who challenged their authority.  They’ve disappeared Uyghurs and Hong Kongers and the head of Interpol.  These tyrants have acted with impunity for far too long, and it’s time the world holds them accountable.  We should disappear the Olympics from China and hold it in a place of which the world can be proud.

The Olympics have long been about competitors coming together on a fair playing field.  It would be a betrayal of this tradition to hold the games in a country that, on the international stage, has habitually disrespected rules and norms.  China views itself not as our competitor, but our adversary. Their disregard for human rights at home and abroad should be reason enough not to grant them the prestige and honor of hosting these important events.  It would offer legitimacy to a Communist regime that deserves our scorn and rebuke.

How can responsible U.S. leaders look at what has happened to international women’s tennis star Peng Shuai and conclude that our athletes will be safe inside Communist China’s borders?  This brave woman dared to accuse a CCP official of sexual assault, and has since completely disappeared from the public eye, save for an orchestrated interview with the shameless International Olympic Committee (IOC).  Boycotting the Olympics would not just be a political statement; it would be in the best interests of the health and safety of our athletes.  The Olympics and the NBA should follow the lead of the World Tennis Association which has suspended tournaments in China because of the CCP’s behavior.

In the final months of the Trump Administration, we worked to develop a coalition of nations around the world to convince the IOC to move the Olympic games.  I called CEOs from the entertainment industry, from the technology industry, from manufacturing companies across America to communicate to them what the Chinese government is doing to its people, what they would be rewarding if they decided to be a part of an Olympic games hosted in China. It’s not too late for the Biden Administration to finish that work by rallying America’s partners and finding somewhere else to hold the games – one that is not tainted by genocide and harsh repression. Why is it the World Tennis Association is a stronger advocate and world leader for human rights than the Biden Administration? It’s more than disappointing.

The Trump Administration designated the CCP’s repression of China’s Uyghur population as genocide.  We know the history of the 1930s. We know how many senior leaders looked the other way when there was a Holocaust taking place in Germany. The things that are happening in China today are not only reminiscent of those terrible events, but have the staggering potential to surpass them. Senior leaders, governmental leaders, business leaders, and leaders of non-profits all need to take seriously their responsibility to make sure that they do not contribute either directly or indirectly, toward furthering the Chinese Communist Party’s capacity to engage in genocide against the Uyghur people.

Our athletes deserve the chance to participate in the Olympics.  In the end, though, responsible leaders cannot allow American athletes to travel to Beijing, risking their personal safety, and reward the Chinese Communist Party for its ongoing genocide and malign behavior on the global stage. The Olympics are an expression of freedom, fair competition, and athletic talent.  China’s behavior celebrates none of these qualities.  The world ought to unite around these principles in order to hold China accountable.

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