Britain to Censor Their Olympic Athletes

Britain kow tows to China as athletes are forced to sign no criticism contracts | the Daily Mail The Daily Mail is reporting that Olympic athletes from Great Britain are being coerced to sign a contract whereby they will not be allowed to speak out about China’s human rights record or risk being banned from representing Britain at the Olympics.

This type of censorship is wrong. It’s wrong for the British government to ask their athletes to sign such a contract.

“The move – which raises the spectre of the order given to the England football team to give a Nazi salute in Berlin in 1938 – immediately provoked a storm of protest.

The controversial clause has been inserted into athletes’ contracts for the first time and forbids them from making any political comment about countries staging the Olympic Games.

It is contained in a 32-page document that will be presented to all those who reach the qualifying standard and are chosen for the team. “

Update: More from the BBC here. (Thanks, Phil!)

“Mr Clegg said: “I accept that the interpretation of one part of the draft BOA’s Team Members Agreement appears to have gone beyond the provision of the Olympic Charter, this is not our intention nor is it our desire to restrict athletes’ freedom of speech and the final agreement will reflect this.”

A spokesman said the BOA could not stop athletes talking to the media, nor questions being asked, particularly as the four-yearly event is aimed at getting “the best possible coverage of the sport”.

“Now, if an athlete answers [a] question honestly, there is not going to be an issue for us there. It’s much more something where there is an overt decision to make a political point, using the games as a platform and that clearly is very different.”

hmmmm… seems like if this is the case that it would be best to just strike the above provision from the contract.

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3 Comments

  1. Phil says:

    The Daily Mail is not known for its unbiased & quality reporting. It’s a newspaper with a strong agenda targeting a specific audience.

    The BBC has a different story:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7237599.stm

  2. Gary Denness says:

    Personally, regardless of any contracts, I think politics and sport should be kept apart. Athletes are there representing the country in China at their chosen sport, not as human rights activists. We have politicians (for better or worse) to represent the country in that regard. Sport should never be used by politicians, as has been done many times with boycotts, nor should it be used by the sportsmen. If they have a point to make, fine. Either do it later or drop out of the team.

  3. I’d sign it, then load up with a ton of really harassing shirts from CafePress.

    Hopefully, I’d at least embarrass myself as I take the opportunity to be seen with a continuous message attacking every element of China’s horrible government.

    Unfortunately, I’m a fat tard, and would never make an Olympic team.