Saturday, February 08, 2014

I Will Not Watch the Sochi Olympics

Russia apparently hates gay people. This makes it more funny that the Russians paid money to host the winter Olympics, which includes a competition in which two men, in skin-tight suits, lie one on top of the other as they sled down the ice.

Oh, but they're just good friends.

The two-man luge is a real Olympic event. But Russia's homophobia did not turn me off of the Olympics by itself. If Billie Jean King and Elton John will go to Sochi, I can't feel too much guilt for watching its games on TV.

But add this: The Russian government hired a pest control company to kill stray dogs on Sochi streets ahead of the Olympics, many by poisoning. They are poisoned humanely, the exterminator's manager says.

I won't support that, or an Olympics that happens in such a barbaric place. 

I've heard people say that we should watch our athletes regardless of the politics. They don't need our support now. At the games, they live in a bubble. If I don't watch the U.S. women's hockey team on NBC, the players will never know.

Don't mistake unwillingness to watch for lack of support for the athletes. I want the U.S. to win gold in every event in which it competes honorably. They will still get their medals, and the endorsement gold that follows. I will happily buy the cereal on whose box their golden smiles appear. But if we just nod our heads and cheer and chant as injustice and cruelty surround the games, we make it possible for them to continue.

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