Unless the Wuhan coronavirus prevents it (wouldn’t that be poetic justice?), the Winter Olympics will began on February 4, 2022 in Red China. Unless the virus prevents it, U.S. athletes will participate.
Joe Biden decided not to call for a boycott of the Olympics by athletes. Instead, our politicians will boycott the games.
That’s a rather pathetic response to Red Chinese atrocities, but maybe it’s better than nothing. I would have preferred a true boycott, but understand the reasons for not going that far. It would deprive our athletes of the opportunity of a lifetime, punishing them more than the Chinese communists.
In any case, what’s done is done. American athletes will participate, pandemic permitting.
But Americans don’t have to watch the games, and Charles Lane urges us not to:
When NBC’s broadcast comes on, don’t watch. Ditto for NBC’s streaming outlets. Read a book instead; or go for a walk.
Whatever you do, just don’t contribute to the high viewership the network’s parent company, NBCUniversal, banked on in 2014 when it paid the International Olympic Committee (IOC) $7.7 billion for U.S. broadcast rights to six Olympics between 2022 and 2032.
And thereby teach a lesson in the costs of collaboration with the Chinese regime — to the network and to the corporate sponsors who pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for 30 seconds of advertising during the Games, anticipating access to your eyeballs.
Lane also argues that a viewer boycott is a good response to corruption of the Olympic movement itself. To me, that’s a makeweight argument. Let’s keep our focus on China and the American companies that kowtow to it. Let’s make this unambiguously the basis for the boycott.
Not watching the Winter Olympics isn’t much of a sacrifice for me. Missing the Summer Olympics would be. However, I wouldn’t hesitate to boycott them if they were held in China.
As it is, Lane is right to say “there has never have been a less painful way to repudiate China’s dictators — and the special interests that enable them” — especially since ice hockey, one of the marquee events of the Winter Olympics, will be marred by the absence of NHL players due to the pandemic.
Let’s pass on the China Olympics.