The Olympics: Liberals only please.

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Aternative thread title: "We will not stand for this intolerance!"

Days before the Olympics started, Greek athlete Voula Papachristou was expelled from her country's team for making offensive Tweets about immigrants. The consensus at the time seemed to be that this was a heavy-handed but fair reprimand.

More recently, German Nadja Drygalla has been sent home simply through association with the Right Wing (her boyfriend is allegedly a member of a racist organisation). This seems less easy to justify - Drygalla herself hadn't made any inflammatory statements, hasn't appeared to endorse or promote the organisation or its views, and overall seems to have kept her personal life and political views completely separate from her role at the Olympics.

Thoughts on this? Is it right for politics to enter the Olympics? And isn't this chastisement of European athletes hypocritical when competitors from North Korea (oppressive pseudo-Communist dictatorship) and Syria (embroiled in a controversial civil war) are allowed to compete unhindered?

Batou667:
Thoughts on this? Is it right for politics to enter the Olympics? And isn't this chastisement of European athletes hypocritical when competitors from North Korea (oppressive pseudo-Communist dictatorship) and Syria (embroiled in a controversial civil war) are allowed to compete unhindered?

It would seem to be up to the country that hosts the team, and unless you have evidence otherwise I don't see how the two examples you provided are anything other than that.

I mean, if the Olympics don't have the balls to make Saudi Arabia give equal support to women athletes (this year SA broke it's long-standing prohibition against female athletes with a single woman entering the equestrian competition) then I can't see how they can be said to enforce liberal politics across the Olympics.

Batou667:
Aternative thread title: "We will not stand for this intolerance!"

Days before the Olympics started, Greek athlete Voula Papachristou was expelled from her country's team for making offensive Tweets about immigrants. The consensus at the time seemed to be that this was a heavy-handed but fair reprimand.

More recently, German Nadja Drygalla has been sent home simply through association with the Right Wing (her boyfriend is allegedly a member of a racist organisation). This seems less easy to justify - Drygalla herself hadn't made any inflammatory statements, hasn't appeared to endorse or promote the organisation or its views, and overall seems to have kept her personal life and political views completely separate from her role at the Olympics.

Thoughts on this? Is it right for politics to enter the Olympics? And isn't this chastisement of European athletes hypocritical when competitors from North Korea (oppressive pseudo-Communist dictatorship) and Syria (embroiled in a controversial civil war) are allowed to compete unhindered?

No I don't agree with what was done. Politics should stay out of the Olympics, not control it.

Katatori-kun:

Batou667:
Thoughts on this? Is it right for politics to enter the Olympics? And isn't this chastisement of European athletes hypocritical when competitors from North Korea (oppressive pseudo-Communist dictatorship) and Syria (embroiled in a controversial civil war) are allowed to compete unhindered?

It would seem to be up to the country that hosts the team, and unless you have evidence otherwise I don't see how the two examples you provided are anything other than that.

I mean, if the Olympics don't have the balls to make Saudi Arabia give equal support to women athletes (this year SA broke it's long-standing prohibition against female athletes with a single woman entering the equestrian competition) then I can't see how they can be said to enforce liberal politics across the Olympics.

Yeah, pretty much this.

The context is everything, Greece has recently had an influx of neo-Nazis in its parliament. I imagine they are taking extra care in making sure that they don't come off as promoting them.

Germany is also very sensitive about its past, so you would see a similar stance there too, possibly harsher.

I think the OP shouldn't really put much stock in the press statements of the countries involved, since that seems to be where his question stems from (I could be wrong on this though).

It appears to me that the countries who chose these persons to represent them decided that they did not like them representing them after all. If that's an issue up for debate I would think that it is more appropriately debated by those persons being represented. Unless you want to argue over the validity of not wanting to be represented by people who are racist or associated with racist people I do not see where our input comes in.

It's ridiculous. Punishing someone for having a specific acquintance makes no sense, and shame on Germany for that. The Greek tweet was on the edge, but to suspend someone and thus destroy a dream they worked for for years is way too harsh as well.

And in the meantime the judoka from Saoudi-Arabia can blatantly violate the rules of her sport because of religious privilege...

And OP, what does this have to do with liberals?

It just gets worse and worse, huh. The Olympics is a political event when it's supposed to be about sports and nothing else. Not false national pride. Not sponsorship. Not subliminal political agendas. I'll be glad when this shambles is over.

What?

The Olympics isn't just about sport, and it's a bit of a bad joke?

Damnit, where are my pearls, I need to clutch something!

MammothBlade:
It just gets worse and worse, huh. The Olympics is a political event when it's supposed to be about sports and nothing else. Not false national pride. Not sponsorship. Not subliminal political agendas. I'll be glad when this shambles is over.

Ever since its' inception at the turn of the last century the Olympics has been as much about national pride as it has been about sports. But really, that minor contention aside I do agree with you. The Olympic Games manages to really symbolize what is wrong with large parts of western society today in that it talk a whole lot about pretty things and how it supports them. Then the olympic committee makes a complete 360 and does something that flies straight in the face of their own statements (equality? Yeah, just ask the female saudiarabian athle- oh wait. A chance for everyone to celebrate? Yeah, if they don't upset the sponsors and can pay the staggering admissions price. etc.)

Blablahb:
And OP, what does this have to do with liberals?

Liberal as in left-wing. Apparently the presence of Communism is fine at the games, but the merest sniff of (white) nationalism is stamped down on.

As other posters have pointed out, both of these expulsions were at the discretion of their own countries, and not ordered by the Olympic council.

What was the point of this thread? Well, to talk about whether the Olympics has, or ought to have, a political stance, and to invite any offshoots on the theme. On the one hand, the Olympics is meant to be about raising the profile of sports and athletics and to be a bridge for international relations - but is it right to achieve this by barring athletes who have (or are suspected of having) the "wrong" political views?

The German athlete, for example, *may* have anti-Semitic views, and had she made this known before the games she would have been whisked back to the Fatherland before you could say "Schutzstaffeltotenkopfverbände". But clearly the holding of anti-Semitic views isn't in and of itself a barrer to competing in the Olympics - otherwise the Iranian team would be de facto excluded. Presumably, then, some countries hold their national image in higher regard than their ability to win at the international level - but where do we draw the line, and why?

Batou667:
but where do we draw the line, and why?

"We" don't draw a line and "we" didn't. "They" drew a line, as "they" have every right to do.

Every country's Olympic committee has the right to decide based on their own standards who gets to represent their country and why. Germany and Greece feel that avoiding an antisemitic image is important for their status. That's their business.

Batou667:
Aternative thread title: "We will not stand for this intolerance!"

Days before the Olympics started, Greek athlete Voula Papachristou was expelled from her country's team for making offensive Tweets about immigrants. The consensus at the time seemed to be that this was a heavy-handed but fair reprimand.

More recently, German Nadja Drygalla has been sent home simply through association with the Right Wing (her boyfriend is allegedly a member of a racist organisation). This seems less easy to justify - Drygalla herself hadn't made any inflammatory statements, hasn't appeared to endorse or promote the organisation or its views, and overall seems to have kept her personal life and political views completely separate from her role at the Olympics.

Thoughts on this? Is it right for politics to enter the Olympics? And isn't this chastisement of European athletes hypocritical when competitors from North Korea (oppressive pseudo-Communist dictatorship) and Syria (embroiled in a controversial civil war) are allowed to compete unhindered?

As you stated, these athletes were banned by their own countries, not by the IOC or the UK's own team in charge of running it. It would therefore be fair to assume that their countries decided that they weren't the sort of people they wanted to represent themselves with, as many will judge the countries based on the actions and comments of these athletes.

As it's their nations decision to make I don't have a real problem with it, the German one is very questionable, but the Greek one more understandable, if they don't racists representing their country that's fair enough.

The thread title seems rather unfair to conservatives in that I'm pretty sure they're not all racists.

Mortai Gravesend:
The thread title seems rather unfair to conservatives in that I'm pretty sure they're not all racists.

This thread title also seems rather unfair to liberals in that I'm pretty sure they're not all thought police.

And while the German response seems rather heavy-handed, remember that anti-Semitism is taken pretty seriously in Germany for some reason that seems to escape me at the moment.

Well, if the Olympic organizers or Britain as the host nation didn't act against the athletes, then the problem would stem from the athletes' own nations, not the Olympics themselves.

The Greek athlete is understandable enough, they're sent there to gather good publicity for their nation, so if they actively act against that purpose then they should be kept away.

As for the German one, it seems that Germany haven't quite abandoned the concepts of "Sippenhaft" and "berufsverbot" yet.

Katatori-kun:

Batou667:
Thoughts on this? Is it right for politics to enter the Olympics? And isn't this chastisement of European athletes hypocritical when competitors from North Korea (oppressive pseudo-Communist dictatorship) and Syria (embroiled in a controversial civil war) are allowed to compete unhindered?

It would seem to be up to the country that hosts the team, and unless you have evidence otherwise I don't see how the two examples you provided are anything other than that.

I mean, if the Olympics don't have the balls to make Saudi Arabia give equal support to women athletes (this year SA broke it's long-standing prohibition against female athletes with a single woman entering the equestrian competition) then I can't see how they can be said to enforce liberal politics across the Olympics.

Fair post.

Also; Is it "liberal" (as opposed to "Conservative") to kick someone off the team for making crude remarks about another persons nationality? How is it "Conservative" to be racist? (Because I doubt all he said was "I don't mind X people, but Y country needs fewer of them, due to our economy not being able to handle it).

Captcha: "Hear me roar!"
Haha, Captcha is quoting Lannisters <3

Batou667:

More recently, German Nadja Drygalla has been sent home simply through association with the Right Wing (her boyfriend is allegedly a member of a racist organisation). This seems less easy to justify - Drygalla herself hadn't made any inflammatory statements, hasn't appeared to endorse or promote the organisation or its views, and overall seems to have kept her personal life and political views completely separate from her role at the Olympics.

The whole idea of the Olympics is less about sports than it is about Nationalism. It's a ritual for nations to present themselves and define themselves against their out-group meaning the other nations present at the Olympics - in a decidedly peaceful manner at that.

Nations have the right to present themselves to the world in whatever way they choose - that this might include sacking an athlete is nothing that really surprises me, nor do I necessarily disagree with. Ms. Drygalla is in a relationship with a direct candidate for a party (the NPD for anyone interested) that was repeatedly put under surveillance by the The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz) for politics and language that eerily resembles those of the NSDAP. Details surrounding her particular connection and identification with those values are currently sketchy at best, from what I can gather.

Still, the moment she was put on the Olympic team made her into a symbol representing Germany. And that people in power decide that the NPD should not be a symbol for Germany is in my eyes a perfectly valid decision. If her particular case needed her to be sacked or if her connections shouldn't have been checked beforehand[1] are legitimate questions one can definitely discuss. But stuff like this,

Imperator_DK:

As for the German one, it seems that Germany haven't quite abandoned the concepts of "Sippenhaft" and "berufsverbot" yet.

...is just needlessly insulting hyperbole. I really did expect more from you Imperator.

[1] Which seems to be really good question since rumors about her connections seemed to have appeared already in march last year, if this german article from the NDR - the Norddeutsche Rundfunk - is to be trusted

Germany and Greece can fire anyone who works for them, as far as I'm concerned.

Dajosch:
...
But stuff like this,

Imperator_DK:

As for the German one, it seems that Germany haven't quite abandoned the concepts of "Sippenhaft" and "berufsverbot" yet.

...is just needlessly insulting hyperbole. I really did expect more from you Imperator.

Hyperbole?

Sippenhaft:
...refers to the principle of families sharing the responsibility for a crime committed by one of its members. It is a form of collective punishment. A relative of the perpetrator could thus be punished in place or in addition to the perpetrator, depending on the circumstances

Here, Germany punished an innocent girl who have unquestionably never said or done anything that she could be criticised for, for something her boyfriend had done. Or actually not anything he'd done, merely for his political views, which leads us to:

Berufsverbot:
A Berufsverbot disqualifies the recipient from engaging in certain professions or activities on the grounds of his or her criminal record, political convictions or membership in a particular group.

Which is exactly what happened to her here, only it wasn't even her convictions that got her in trouble.

You might not like the parallels I'm drawing here, and fair enough both concepts have generally been associated with far more dire consequences than being thrown out of a sports contest. But both are terminologically quite applicable here (assuming we consider a boyfriend "family"). The underlying principles of injustice are exactly the same, and my use of them thus quite accurate.

To punish an innocent with a parking ticket is on principle no less of an injustice than is punishing an innocent with death. And if you've come to "expect" anything from me, then I should quite hope it to be both an unwavering devotion to individual rights and justice, and a very strong contempt for those violating it.

I actually have much more sympathy with the Greek athlete than the German one. A light hearted joke compared to who the German's fella is? If that relationship between the German and her boyfriend is anywhere near serious then she clearly, at least, has no problem with his views and is more than likely to hold them herself.

But anyway, to repeat what many posters have already said; it was the decision of those countries to call those athletes back and not that of the Olympic Committee.

kurupt87:
I actually have much more sympathy with the Greek athlete than the German one. A light hearted joke compared to who the German's fella is? If that relationship between the German and her boyfriend is anywhere near serious then she clearly, at least, has no problem with his views and is more than likely to hold them herself

Assuming that all people dubbed neonazis actually have national-socialistic ideals is a big assumption. Most of them are just disgruntled people who seek a radical group identity that protests the social norms.

Let alone making guilt by association a valid form of reasoning. There's no relevance between sports and politics.

Imperator_DK:

You might not like the parallels I'm drawing here, and fair enough both concepts have generally been associated with far more dire consequences than being thrown out of a sports contest. But both are terminologically quite applicable here (assuming we consider a boyfriend "family"). The underlying principles of injustice are exactly the same, and my use of them thus quite accurate.

Terminologically, maybe - depends on how long one likes to play on the semantical hapsichord. But its quite evident that not being able to attend a sports contest is not the same as being legally disallowed to ever do a certain profession. The same goes for Sippenhaft which would also not entirely (though admittedly a bit better) fit that description as this was not a legal, but an individual decision judging from this article which clearly states:

Eklat im deutschen Team: Ruderin Drygalla verlässt olympisches Dorf:

'Um keine Belastung für die Olympiamannschaft entstehen zu lassen, habe Drygalla von sich aus erklärt, dass sie das olympische Dorf verlassen werde. "Die Mannschaftsleitung begrüßt diesen Schritt", sagte Vesper.'

'To create no burden for the Olympic team, Drygalla herself stated that she would leave the Olympic village. "The team administration welcomes this decision", says Vesper.'

Note: Michael Vesper is the Chef de Mission of the German Olympic team

Therefore consider this: is deriding a politician for "immoral" behaviour or certain contacts, leading to his eventual resignation the same as Berufsverbot and Sippenhaft? And what about criminals who are legally disallowed to do certain professions depending on their conviction? Also Berufsverbot?

If you answered yes, then why on earth would you hold Germany alone accountable in this particular case while alluding all those "dire consequences" you speak of?

To punish an innocent with a parking ticket is on principle no less of an injustice than is punishing an innocent with death. And if you've come to "expect" anything from me, then I should quite hope it to be both an unwavering devotion to individual rights and justice, and a very strong contempt for those violating it.

"Expecting more of you" meaning, you not using labels so strongly charged with negative connotations of a certain nature and with such populistically simplistic broad strokes.

Dajosch:
The same goes for Sippenhaft which would also not entirely (though admittedly a bit better) fit that description as this was not a legal, but an individual decision judging from this article which clearly states

Bullshit. If you pressure and bully someone untill they leave, it's the same as throwing them out. She's still being punished because a bunch of idiots think that everyone who's ever talked to a bald person is automatically a hardcore neonazi who shares all their ideals.

Why Germany is responsible, is because it's their paranoia and intolerance that has lead someone to be punished out of sheer prejudice.

Blablahb:

Dajosch:
The same goes for Sippenhaft which would also not entirely (though admittedly a bit better) fit that description as this was not a legal, but an individual decision judging from this article which clearly states

Bullshit. If you pressure and bully someone untill they leave, it's the same as throwing them out. She's still being punished because a bunch of idiots think that everyone who's ever talked to a bald person is automatically a hardcore neonazi who shares all their ideals.

Why Germany is responsible, is because it's their paranoia and intolerance that has lead someone to be punished out of sheer prejudice.

Garsh, I wonder why Germany might be a little dodgy when it comes to potential neonazi ties.

Blablahb:

Dajosch:
The same goes for Sippenhaft which would also not entirely (though admittedly a bit better) fit that description as this was not a legal, but an individual decision judging from this article which clearly states

Bullshit. If you pressure and bully someone untill they leave, it's the same as throwing them out. She's still being punished because a bunch of idiots think that everyone who's ever talked to a bald person is automatically a hardcore neonazi who shares all their ideals.

My contention to Imperator was merely stating that there wasn't ever some conviction or clear statement about her being sacked within the legal framework. It was quite possibly as you say a thing of pressure. If that came down to bullying I do not know and neither do you for that matter. Also, it's not that she was punished because of her connections but because she could possibly misrepresent what Germany stands for - a subtle but important difference that everyone does expect at some point if a person occupies a symbolic position. Also note that I'am not really sure myself if the sacking wasn't an exaggeration - we shall see what information about this case pops up in the next weeks.

Why Germany is responsible, is because it's their paranoia and intolerance that has lead someone to be punished out of sheer prejudice.

Oh how I love generalizations and manipulative buzzword throwing. But hell, who am I to argue with that?

Blablahb:

kurupt87:
I actually have much more sympathy with the Greek athlete than the German one. A light hearted joke compared to who the German's fella is? If that relationship between the German and her boyfriend is anywhere near serious then she clearly, at least, has no problem with his views and is more than likely to hold them herself

Assuming that all people dubbed neonazis actually have national-socialistic ideals is a big assumption. Most of them are just disgruntled people who seek a radical group identity that protests the social norms.

Let alone making guilt by association a valid form of reasoning. There's no relevance between sports and politics.

I would not have required either to leave the games.

Broad stroke? Maybe. The point of them not going, though, was that the countries didn't want the possibility of racism being associated with them. And, to me, a lighthearted joke has less racist suggestion than a significant other being a significant person in a broadly racist political group.

And unfortunately there is politics in the Olympics; it is as much, if not more, an arena for national pride than individual sporting prowess. The vast majority of people are not at all interested in the sports on display, they want to see the athletes representing their country do well. However, the countries bring their own politics; they decide what they want to be viewed as. It is not, as the OP suggests, at the discretion of the Olympic Committee.

Batou667:

Blablahb:
And OP, what does this have to do with liberals?

Liberal as in left-wing.

Then please use left-wing rather than liberal, as in europe and most of the world the liberals are centre-rightwing.
The liberals would be the ones against this sort of thing. The word liberal comes from the latin word "liber", free.
They are the ones for the free market, smaller goverment and such.

This has dick-all to do with "liberal" or "left wing" or anything. It's getting really tiresome having the definition of "liberal" be twisted, bastardized and outright abused into meaning "shit I don't like."

I'll go with the "a country can add/remove an athlete for whatever reason they want" crowd, with the caveat that we then get to judge said country's committee, ala giving the sarcastic golf clap to Saudi Arabia.

Donuthole:
This has dick-all to do with "liberal" or "left wing" or anything. It's getting really tiresome having the definition of "liberal" be twisted, bastardized and outright abused into meaning "shit I don't like."

Except that's not what I did. Both countries in question censured their athletes for having right-wing leanings or associations. How would you describe an opposition to right-wing thinking, if not "left-wing"?

Batou667:

Donuthole:
This has dick-all to do with "liberal" or "left wing" or anything. It's getting really tiresome having the definition of "liberal" be twisted, bastardized and outright abused into meaning "shit I don't like."

Except that's not what I did. Both countries in question censured their athletes for having right-wing leanings or associations. How would you describe an opposition to right-wing thinking, if not "left-wing"?

They censured their athletes for saying things (or having associations) unbecoming of de facto ambassadors to the world's biggest stage.

Now, I don't particularly agree with those censures (particularly that of the German lass). But to imply they happened simply because they were "right-wing" (as opposed to, you know, downright offensive in the case of the Greek fella), and thus using this as evidence that the Olympics are for "liberals only" is simply incorrect.

A sprinter was just drummed out of the Olympics by his home nation for having a conjugal visit with his wife at a hotel off the grounds of the Olympic village.

http://deadspin.com/5931812/former-100m-world-champion-kicked-out-of-olympics-for-meeting-his-wife-in-a-hotel

Is this another example of left-wing perfidy?

The German Rower left of her own accord. possibly after she was pressured by Germany of the IOC, but we don't know for sure. The link you gave is to the Daily Mail, which is frequently inaccurate and often racist so best to avoid it.

But the Olympics are meant to avoid political or social statements. You're not allowed to promote race harmony or highlight massive socio-economic problems. You're not even allowed to show nationalism for countries which aren't taking part in the olympics, with non competing countries having their flags banned. Look at the controversy over the black power salutes decades ago.

Also, please label all future threads Communist Conversation Station.

Donuthole:
[(as opposed to, you know, downright offensive in the case of the Greek fella)

Fella!? This is the athlete in question.

image

Batou667:

Donuthole:
[(as opposed to, you know, downright offensive in the case of the Greek fella)

Fella!? This is the athlete in question.

image

Whoops! My bad. I hadn't seen a picture of this athlete ... for some reason I was under the impression the tweeter was a man.

That is definitely not a man. Yowza.

I think it seems rather foolish to punish those who participate in sports because of their personal beliefs, no matter how bad said beliefs are. Their political beliefs don't have anything to do with the sport.

Also the title is a tad misleading... I thought it meant that only Liberals were allowed to read your thread...

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