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Thread: Sports, politics, Zimbabwe and the Olympics

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    Sports, politics, Zimbabwe and the Olympics

    The issue of sports and politics mixing has troubled me for some time. I'd love to hear some other people's views on the matter. Firstly some questions:

    1. Do you believe countries should boycott the Olympics?
    2. Do you believe countries should boycott cricket tours to Zimbabwe*?

    I guess my dilemma is this:
    I've grown up inherently believing that sports and politics shouldn't mix. Hence, I don't believe we should boycott the Olympics. However, I've found myself not troubled by the stance of boycotting Zimbabwe.

    I've also found this to be the popular public perception. And I can't find a good reason for it, other than "it's Zimbabwe". Hardly a convincing reason. After all, at least Zimbabwe's issues are internal, whereas China seems to have internal issues as well as external ones (e.g. Sudan, Tibet?)

    So why is it OK to boycott Zimbabwe but not the Olympics?

    Could it be that we are pandering to China because it is the next big emerging nation? whereas Zimbabwe isn't exactly the most powerful nation going around? If that is the case, then isn't that unethical in itself? and doesn't it completely defeat the point of having an ethical/moral stance on Zimbabwe?

    I'd love to hear your thoughts. Especially why you think the two situations differ, if you think they differ at all.

    *For the moment, I would appreciate if we could ignore the issue of financial mismanagement by the Zimbabwean Cricket Board that has come to light recently. I think it would only cloud the discussion as the issue of boycotting Zimbabwe has been around much longer.

    Cheers,
    NM

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    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by netmatrix View Post
    1. Do you believe countries should boycott the Olympics?
    2. Do you believe countries should boycott cricket tours to Zimbabwe*?
    1. Do you believe countries should boycott the Olympics?
    Without a doubt, No.

    However, there needs to be some investigation why it went to China. Someone ****ed up and needs to pay. Its a terrible decision but once made shouldnt be changed. The Olympics is about the athletes and to see people in politics and activists hijack their special time is sickening. Why should the athletes pay for the administators making a bad decision. 1980 and 1984 were devaluded by boycotts and I hope we never see the likes again. Also, 1936 is remembered for Jesse Owens. What would have happened if USA boycotted the Berlin games?

    2. Do you believe countries should boycott cricket tours to Zimbabwe*?
    Yes because they are not of Test standard.
    If you are talking about other reasons then its more complicated. I think the ZCU should not have a representative Cricket team due to the corruption, foul play and political intervention.

    However, if the cricket board was pretty clean yet the Government dirty and wrong then it would be a different story.

    I hate what goes on in Zim right now, but I went on holiday there last year and would play cricket there in a heartbeat.
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    Global Moderator vic_orthdox's Avatar
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    How's your typing in a cast going, Goughy? Or just a sling? Sorry to hear about the fall/break.

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    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
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    But unless you guarantee that all the teams in the olympics are also picked in a representative manner before allowing them participation, what's the difference?
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    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vic_orthdox View Post
    How's your typing in a cast going, Goughy? Or just a sling?
    In a cast and a sling. All left handed here

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    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goughy View Post
    In a cast and a sling. All left handed here
    Looks like you've had a lot practice....

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    Of course the strength of China is the reason why their will be no boycott of this Olympics, but then I would think it's hypocritical of anyone or any nation boycott these Olympics when you could just stop importing/buying Chinese goods. It would make much more of an impact to the Chinese government than just not turning up to the Olympics.

    The reason why it sound bad to judge one country different to another in this way is because it is bad and hypocritical. But that's because we, the Western World now imports so much from China that we need it plain and simple, we don't need Zimbabwe so we threaten it as much as possible, if we did it to China and they stopped trade with us, we'd be screwed. Look at it this way, if we were stuck on a island, China is the only one hunting, fishing and making shelter, Zimbabwe does nothing. Who can we get rid of?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 99* View Post
    Of course the strength of China is the reason why their will be no boycott of this Olympics, but then I would think it's hypocritical of anyone or any nation boycott these Olympics when you could just stop importing/buying Chinese goods. It would make much more of an impact to the Chinese government than just not turning up to the Olympics.

    The reason why it sound bad to judge one country different to another in this way is because it is bad and hypocritical. But that's because we, the Western World now imports so much from China that we need it plain and simple, we don't need Zimbabwe so we threaten it as much as possible, if we did it to China and they stopped trade with us, we'd be screwed. Look at it this way, if we were stuck on a island, China is the only one hunting, fishing and making shelter, Zimbabwe does nothing. Who can we get rid of?
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    ill tell you what i think -

    I think Australia, South Africa and India should win automatically without touring Zimbabwe, with the other teams they at least have a chance.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    No, they don't. Zimabwbe are several hundred miles behind the Test\ODI-class teams.

    As to the original question, Kev said pretty much precisely what are my thoughts on it. Why the hell are the questions about the Olympics being held in China being asked now not before they were awarded?
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    Hall of Fame Member Smudge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silentstriker View Post
    Looks like you've had a lot practice....

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Burgey's Avatar
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    I don't think countries can really boycott these games when their respective Olympic delegates were part of the process which awarded them to China in the first place.
    What ****s me to tears though, is when they kick athletes off the olympic team for "bringing the olympics into disrepute", after awarding the games themselves to the Chinese regime.
    Even that wouldn't be an issue if the Olympics held themselves out as a purely commercial or sporting exercise - but they don't. Isn't one of their mottos/ slogans "Peace"? If they want to hold themselves out as promoting all that is good by adopting that type of sloganeering, then they leave themselves well and truly open to the type of protests which this torch relay has been subjected to.
    Zimbabwe? I would say the countries should boycott, and that's hypotcritical to an extent, although the Boards are taking the stance to boycott tours, which is what sets the situation apart from the Olympics, where the countries' boards have sanctioned the games going to China in the first place.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goughy View Post
    1. Do you believe countries should boycott the Olympics?
    Without a doubt, No.

    However, there needs to be some investigation why it went to China. Someone ****ed up and needs to pay. Its a terrible decision but once made shouldnt be changed. The Olympics is about the athletes and to see people in politics and activists hijack their special time is sickening. Why should the athletes pay for the administators making a bad decision. 1980 and 1984 were devaluded by boycotts and I hope we never see the likes again. Also, 1936 is remembered for Jesse Owens. What would have happened if USA boycotted the Berlin games?
    Thanks for your response. What you said above makes sense and is definitely fair enough

    2. Do you believe countries should boycott cricket tours to Zimbabwe*?
    Yes because they are not of Test standard.
    OK, valid point but the fact remains that they were given Test status by an internationally accepted and recognised process. Surely you can't have people citing reasons that they're not Test standard as a reason for boycotting?

    Otherwise the current Australia team could use that to argue boycotting every nation bar India and SA (j/k)

    If you are talking about other reasons then its more complicated. I think the ZCU should not have a representative Cricket team due to the corruption, foul play and political intervention.

    However, if the cricket board was pretty clean yet the Government dirty and wrong then it would be a different story.
    Fair enough. But would do you think countries should boycott Sri Lanka because they have political interventions in their cricket team. And you can bet your bottom dollar that there would be/has been a corruption, foul play and political interventions within cricket boards of other countries too. There's a good reason why the board members of ICC councils didn't want financial reports to be published in a transparent manner (which is what I believe Malcolm Speed was pushing for before he was let go)

    Quote Originally Posted by 99* View Post
    The reason why it sound bad to judge one country different to another in this way is because it is bad and hypocritical. But that's because we, the Western World now imports so much from China that we need it plain and simple, we don't need Zimbabwe so we threaten it as much as possible, if we did it to China and they stopped trade with us, we'd be screwed. Look at it this way, if we were stuck on a island, China is the only one hunting, fishing and making shelter, Zimbabwe does nothing. Who can we get rid of?
    Exactly. But if that is the only reason for boycotting Zimbabwe but not China then isn't that unethical. I mean we're boycotting Zimbabwe on ethical/moral grounds, yet we are not prepared to apply the same stance to China. And it seems the very reason we are doing this (ie pandering to China) is unethical/hypocritical! So what right does that give us to hold an ethical stance on Zimbabwe?

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Why the hell are the questions about the Olympics being held in China being asked now not before they were awarded?
    Well, if people truly believe that Sport and Politics shouldn't mix then China fully deserved it - they had easily the most superior bid.

    But it seems not many actually truly believe that Sport and Politics shouldn't mix because so many are in favour of boycotting Zimbabwe (but with no greater reasons than there exists for China)


    Quote Originally Posted by Burgey View Post
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    Zimbabwe? I would say the countries should boycott, and that's hypotcritical to an extent, although the Boards are taking the stance to boycott tours, which is what sets the situation apart from the Olympics, where the countries' boards have sanctioned the games going to China in the first place.
    I'm not sure about other boards, but from memory, but Cricket Australia were not willing to boycott the last tour of Australia to Zimbabwe - the Australian Government did.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by netmatrix View Post
    OK, valid point but the fact remains that they were given Test status by an internationally accepted and recognised process. Surely you can't have people citing reasons that they're not Test standard as a reason for boycotting?

    Otherwise the current Australia team could use that to argue boycotting every nation bar India and SA (j/k)
    Zimbabwe being given Test status in 1992 was quite fair enough. Their team was easily good enough to merit it.

    The trouble is, Zimbabwe has seen a situation never seen before - a team which was once Test\ODI-class has ceased to be so. And there has been a reluctance to strip them of said status, mostly from unrealistically-minded South Africans in my experience.
    Exactly. But if that is the only reason for boycotting Zimbabwe but not China then isn't that unethical. I mean we're boycotting Zimbabwe on ethical/moral grounds, yet we are not prepared to apply the same stance to China. And it seems the very reason we are doing this (ie pandering to China) is unethical/hypocritical! So what right does that give us to hold an ethical stance on Zimbabwe?
    The reason for pandering to China is because every single sane person realises that to not do so would be catastrophic for this planet. While it might appear unethical, one could argue that the results of not doing so might well actually be worse than doing so.
    Well, if people truly believe that Sport and Politics shouldn't mix then China fully deserved it - they had easily the most superior bid.

    But it seems not many actually truly believe that Sport and Politics shouldn't mix because so many are in favour of boycotting Zimbabwe (but with no greater reasons than there exists for China)
    I've certainly never believed sport and politics (in fact - anything and politics) shouldn't mix. There were ads here before the most recent general elections (and may have been again before the recent locals, haven't watched TV for a month now) "if you don't do politics, there's not much you don't do". It's very true.
    I'm not sure about other boards, but from memory, but Cricket Australia were not willing to boycott the last tour of Australia to Zimbabwe - the Australian Government did.
    I doubt CA would've had any qualms about refusing to tour Zimbabwe had they not been forced to do so by I$C$C expected standards.

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