Should Americans boycott the Winter Olympics due to Putin's new law?

Ansley Ansley
So this is crazy, don't call me maybe...

Basically, if your gay and you know it then you should surely fear to show it when in Russia. It's no secret there are a few major athletes in the world who are gay and a few of them are going to be in attendance at the Olympics, either performing or supporting their fellow athletes. Not to mention the sheer number of tourists arriving in the country who are not hetero-normative.

In this day and age, is this something Americans and the rest of the world should be supporting? Supporting your answers in the comments is always appreciated!!
Answers (public voting - your screen name will appear in the results):
The U.S. (and possibly other countries) should boycott the Olympics.
dv8 , HannahPanda , Bill220 , TransMarc , Lucifer the Cat
5  (23%)
The U.S. should continue to participate regardless of the individual laws of the host country.
Trysexual , Sincerely Yours, N , mattman84 , Mended Heart , SourAppleMartini , mlmac , ryansex , 31 Flavors , gatewayer57@yahoo.com , Pete's Princess , Ziva
11  (50%)
I'm undecided, but I have an uneasy feeling about it, regardless.
stacylyn12 , Sohotdinosaur , Ly-Ra , RonLee
4  (18%)
Something else that I'll explain in the comments...
C&K0143 , friendswithfangs
2  (9%)
Total votes: 22
Poll is closed
07/31/2013
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stacylyn12 stacylyn12
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
So this is crazy, don't call me maybe...

Basically, if your gay and you know it then you should surely fear to show it when in Russia. It's no secret there are a few major athletes in the world who are gay and a few of them are going ... More
I do not know it that would work
07/31/2013
SourAppleMartini SourAppleMartini
What for? Do you expect Putin to change the law because of it? It is not going to happen, he would not give a damn.
08/01/2013
Trysexual Trysexual
If countries/people boycotted everything based on one law in a country, nothing would ever get done. Whether you agree with it or not. The Olympics should not be a political football (despite the fact that they are corrupted).

I don't think Putin is going to round up athletes at the Olympics and throw them in jail. There would be huge ramifications and global political suicide.

Just like you don't visit the middle east and flaunt your western ways (whatever that may be that is illegal there).
08/01/2013
Ansley Ansley
Would your responses be any different if this was a post about the president of a host nation endorsing female genital mutilation or stoning accused adulterers to death?
08/01/2013
Gdom Gdom
First off, the Olympics are (and--at least in the modern era--have basically always been) something of a political pissing contest. Maybe there's something to be said for MINIMIZING the amount of "political football," but not boycotting the Olympics isn't going to convert a politically-saturated event into pure fun and games.

Second, failing to object to the status quo (in this case, refraining from boycotting the Olympics) is itself a political act. Whether intentional or not, failing to fight problems in the status quo is effectively equivalent to tacitly endorsing them. Ignoring the human rights crises in Russia for the sake of the Olympics is not the "neutral" choice; it's every bit as political as the decision to boycott (in effect, at least; your intentions may be entirely apolitical, but the LGBTQ folks being jailed and beaten don't care much about your intentions on this one if the effect is the continuation of systems of discrimination).

Third, however, I'm not entirely certain that a boycott would solve or help to solve the problem permanently. While it might do so, I take issue with the common assumption that boycotts are always an effective strategy and that their benefits outweigh their costs (I also take issue with the extreme opposite assumption: that boycotts never work and that they're always too costly and risky). Even if any state was willing to threaten to boycott the upcoming Olympics (which I'm not sure is the case anyway), Putin would likely just institute a temporary moratorium on prosecution of LGBTQ folks. At most, he might promise to improve in the future. Neither of those responses are particularly likely to lead to meaningful long term change. There might be a way to approach a boycott that would fix these problems, but if so, it isn't readily apparent to me.

That said, if a boycott would likely result in meaningful change, the benefits of which outweigh the costs of boycotting (or threatening to boycott), AND a critical mass of states would actually be willing to participate in such a boycott as to make it effective, then sure, it would be a worthwhile approach to addressing Russia's human rights abuses.
08/01/2013
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by Gdom
First off, the Olympics are (and--at least in the modern era--have basically always been) something of a political pissing contest. Maybe there's something to be said for MINIMIZING the amount of "political football," but not boycotting ... More
Fantastic response!! It's a very interesting situation. I feel the conversation about this should be far greater with a larger number of leaders side-eyeing Putin and going "wtf you thinkin' man?". I don't know what can or should be done about it at the end of the day that wouldn't be political suicide in a number of situations for a variety of leaders, but this is ridiculous and there has to be something that can be done about it.
08/01/2013
HannahPanda HannahPanda
It's a pretty awful law. I don't think America would boycott the Olympics ever, though.
08/01/2013
C&K0143 C&K0143
Both governments are utterly despicable and completely criminal so I don’t see the point. It’s like the two of the worst rapists and murderers boycotting each other. Pointless.
08/02/2013
Skindiver Skindiver
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
So this is crazy, don't call me maybe...

Basically, if your gay and you know it then you should surely fear to show it when in Russia. It's no secret there are a few major athletes in the world who are gay and a few of them are going ... More
Don't give a rat's ass.
08/02/2013
Sincerely Yours, N Sincerely Yours, N
I think that the people that the boycott would hurt most are the American athletes. After all, they have so little time at their prime and every missed Olympics is one less one that they'll ever see. The US protested the Moscow Olympics and that never helped things.

Besides, the Olympics should be about peace, not politics and power struggles.
08/03/2013
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by C&K0143
Both governments are utterly despicable and completely criminal so I don’t see the point. It’s like the two of the worst rapists and murderers boycotting each other. Pointless.
Wow...really? The American government is worse than the Iraqi or Iranian government? That's a pretty strong statement.
08/05/2013
SourAppleMartini SourAppleMartini
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
Would your responses be any different if this was a post about the president of a host nation endorsing female genital mutilation or stoning accused adulterers to death?
Yes. You can't just randomly interfere with another country's internal politics.
08/05/2013
C&K0143 C&K0143
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
Wow...really? The American government is worse than the Iraqi or Iranian government? That's a pretty strong statement.
Yes, it is a strong statement and one I stand firmly behind. All governments are immoral, some more so than others. The United States government has murdered millions around the world for decades for such crimes as defending their homes, knowing the wrong people, being in too close of proximity ingesting the wrong substance, growing the wrong plant, sitting on too many resources, etc. I can go on and on and on but this is not the forum for such discussions I think.
08/05/2013
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by SourAppleMartini
Yes. You can't just randomly interfere with another country's internal politics.
I guess I find that stance to be somewhat disturbing considering one does not simply decide they are gay or straight and no one should ever be condemned or punished for it in any way. With the civil rights struggles here for their rights to simply be "normal" and "human" that this would cause a little bit more of a stir in our community. I guess I pegged it wrong.
08/06/2013
Sincerely Yours, N Sincerely Yours, N
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
I guess I find that stance to be somewhat disturbing considering one does not simply decide they are gay or straight and no one should ever be condemned or punished for it in any way. With the civil rights struggles here for their rights to simply be ... More
But it's better than deciding what a woman's anatomy should look like, stoning women to death for not being entirely subservient, or calling everybody and their mothers a racist for everything they do (taking examples from other countries - not all the same, of course). Russia isn't democratic, but they're not the only place where sexual orientation is expected to be straight.

Again, I feel that the ones being hurt most are the athletes. : ) Sadly I don't know what can be done.
08/06/2013
TransMarc TransMarc
Yeah. But I don't know shit about acting upon politics. Though, it seems like what they should do.
08/07/2013
SourAppleMartini SourAppleMartini
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
I guess I find that stance to be somewhat disturbing considering one does not simply decide they are gay or straight and no one should ever be condemned or punished for it in any way. With the civil rights struggles here for their rights to simply be ... More
Dear Stormy, I am just trying to be realistic. You don't see the global picture. Throughout history trying to interfere in another country's internal politics has never resulted in anything positive, look what is happening in Iraq and Afghanistan for example. Foreign intervention only exacerbates internal struggles.

The only wise solution is to let Russia outgrow their own problems. Boycotting Olympics would not make Putin any less popular, it will only make Russians more hostile to other countries. This exactly how Putin maintains his popularity.

Do you know why so many people all over the world are anti-american? This is the reason: the Superman complex. Your belief that you can save the world is simply wrong. I bet you don't tell your neighbors how they are supposed raise their kids (just as an example), what gives you the right to think that some country's politics is wrong? No offense, but it is none of your business.
08/07/2013
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by SourAppleMartini
Dear Stormy, I am just trying to be realistic. You don't see the global picture. Throughout history trying to interfere in another country's internal politics has never resulted in anything positive, look what is happening in Iraq and ... More
Boycotting isn't necessarily interfering so much as it is saying "I refuse to support your economy due to your mistreatment of human beings". It's really just that simple. The Olympics does NOTHING for anyone except boost a host's economy. That's it.

No one said anything about saving the world so don't put words in my mouth but there is a point where enough is enough.
08/07/2013
SourAppleMartini SourAppleMartini
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
Boycotting isn't necessarily interfering so much as it is saying "I refuse to support your economy due to your mistreatment of human beings". It's really just that simple. The Olympics does NOTHING for anyone except boost a ... More
Enough is enough what? Are you Russian? Do you live there? Do you pay taxes there? Does this law affect you in any possible way? If not, then I will repeat: It is none of your bloody business.If you want to be political there are plenty of issues closer to home.

The only people that would suffer from boycotting are the sportsmen whose income and career depends on their participation in Olympics.
08/08/2013
Sincerely Yours, N Sincerely Yours, N
Quote:
Originally posted by SourAppleMartini
Enough is enough what? Are you Russian? Do you live there? Do you pay taxes there? Does this law affect you in any possible way? If not, then I will repeat: It is none of your bloody business.If you want to be political there are plenty of issues ... More
This seems to be getting a little heated, but I agree with your point entirely.

There are a lot of issues in every country, but it's so much easier to focus on the big bad bear. In the end, nobody wins.
08/08/2013
Miss Morphine Miss Morphine
The law is heinous and it's unlikely to change any time soon, and the Olympics are always a clusterfuck of politics. However, they're intended to celebrate the achievement of the athletes. They work for years to be eligible. The games have been held in less than hospitable environments before, and it will probably happen again.
08/19/2013
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by Miss Morphine
The law is heinous and it's unlikely to change any time soon, and the Olympics are always a clusterfuck of politics. However, they're intended to celebrate the achievement of the athletes. They work for years to be eligible. The games have ... More
Sadly, this is very true.
08/19/2013
31 Flavors 31 Flavors
Quote:
Originally posted by Miss Morphine
The law is heinous and it's unlikely to change any time soon, and the Olympics are always a clusterfuck of politics. However, they're intended to celebrate the achievement of the athletes. They work for years to be eligible. The games have ... More
It's as much an indictment of the IOC as it is the host country.
10/14/2013
RonLee RonLee
Quote:
Originally posted by 31 Flavors
It's as much an indictment of the IOC as it is the host country.
I absolutely agree!
10/17/2013
Pete's Princess Pete's Princess
The athletes work their whole life for the olympics. They should not have that stolen from them by politicians. I do not recall that prior boycotts made any major difference in policy to the host country. All it did was rob the athletes of what they worked for. There are much better and more effective ways to affect policy in other countries.
10/20/2013
friendswithfangs friendswithfangs
gettt rid of the olympics instead.
11/15/2013
Total posts: 27
Unique posters: 15