søndag 12. desember 2021

US dignitaries shun Olympics. What about sponsors?

Refusing to send an official U.S. delegation while U.S. athletes compete at the Beijing Olympics is like dropping off dessert at a party you plan to protest by staying away. Your absence might cause a stir at the start, but it will be pretty much ignored by the time people tuck into their pie.

To be sure, refusing to rub elbows with tyrants and assorted swells from the International Olympic Committee is the right thing to do. It’s been done before, and for less. The regime in Beijing is enslaving Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang province, crushing dissent in Hong Kong, threatening neighboring Taiwan, and been accused most recently of “disappearing” tennis star Peng Shuai after she made a sexual assault allegation against a close ally of President Xi Jinping.

So while the Biden administration’s “diplomatic boycott” is a half-step at best, it’s also a lot farther than any organization save the Women’s Tennis Association has gone to hold China accountable for its grave and varied human rights abuses. What remains to be seen is whether any other stakeholders follow their lead.