August 7, 2013

Roundup of Sochi failures

A NY Times story comes down hard on the International Olympic Committee -- and others -- for failing to address Russia's anti-gay law when they had a chance. Some excerpts:
Before the law was passed, the I.O.C. could have pressured Russian officials, saying it would not support the Sochi Games under such conditions. Instead, the Olympic Committee acquiesced. 

“There should have been early, alarmed communications by the I.O.C. in relation to the law,” said Minky Worden, the director of global initiatives and an Olympics expert for Human Rights Watch. “As far as we know, there weren’t.” 

Olympic sponsors like Coca-Cola and McDonald’s also have been publicly muted. In effect, they are underwriting the Games in Sochi that contradict their own corporate policies against discrimination. 
Failure all around. The IOC always seemed to me like a bunch of distant one-percenters. That vision is confirmed. There's one hopeful note in the story, and it's from NBC:
Recently, Mark Lazarus, the chairman of the NBC Sports Group, told television critics, “If it is still their law and it is impacting any part of the Olympic Games, we will make sure that we acknowledge it and recognize it.” 
They'd better. And if they're smart, they'll have Rachel Maddow as the NBC voice of the Sochi Olympics. She'll knock it out of the park. 

I wasn't going to watch the Olympics this year. But now I'll have to. In closing, a special boo for the IOC: You people stink.

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