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.