Should the Olympic Games still take place in Sochi, Russia?
by jasnaquenneville on September 10, 2013 - 10:07pm
Should the Olympic Games still take place in Sochi, Russia with the recent creation of laws against homosexuals, endangering the safety of gay Olympic athletes?
The article “Vladimir Putin offers assurances on gay rights in Sochi” focuses on how the new anti-gay law should not affect the athletes participating in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The President Vladimir Putin states that the law only applies to individuals displaying their homosexuality or causing propaganda, such as the use of rainbow flags. It also prohibits any demonstrations or protests regarding homosexuality, particularly during the Winter Games. However, the law remains unclear on what is considered to be promoting or supporting homosexuality, resulting in ambiguity when it comes to enforcing the law.
The ethical issue presented in this article concerns gay rights. This issue has become more prominent in the news today, due to the Olympic Games coming up in 2014. With the implementation of this new regulation, there has been some doubt on whether or not the Olympic Games will take place in this location and has caused much doubt amongst gay Olympic athletes for their safety. However, according to this article, the president reassures all athletes are in security while visiting the country, as long as they do not cause propaganda.
The reasons to support the Russian government include that Russia is its own sovereign country and is allowed to create its own laws. When individuals enter any other foreign country, they have to abide by that state`s laws. Hence, when visiting Russia, one is expected to abide by their rules and regulations. On the other hand, the Olympics is an event that brings people together and does not discriminate towards anybody on any basis. Therefore, this Russian law is going against a basic principle of the Olympic Games. When Russia accepted to be the host country for this multicultural event, one would have anticipated that they would abide by the rules of the Olympic Charter and would not have implemented such a law.
The values that are represented in this ethical issue, from the Russian government perspective, are individual freedom as a country, patriotism and tradition. The ethical principles acknowledged are beneficence, respect for autonomy and the golden rule. From the Olympics viewpoint, the values that are recognized in this issue are fairness, individual freedom, freedom of expression and security. The ethical principles include do no harm, the greater good, respect for autonomy of the athletes and the golden rule.
In my opinion, I believe that if the athletes’ safety and security are at stake to compete in an event, than the Olympic Games should consider relocating the event to another country. Individuals should not be afraid to pay huge fines or be thrown in jail, on the basis of who they are and how they display it. States welcoming world-wide, international events such as the Olympic Games should not divide people by laws but unite them. According to the Olympic Charter, it states that “Every individual must have the possibility of practising sport, without discrimination of any kind…” and that “Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement.” These statements clearly demonstrate that athletes, within this competition, should be treated equally and not be discriminated against because of their sexuality. How can we as a world come together for an international event, where inequality and discrimination are allowed and a specific group of peoples’ safety are in danger?
Berry, Lynn. “Vladimir Putin offers assurances on gay rights in Sochi.” The Associated Press Sept.4th, 2013. CBC. Sept. 8th, 2013.