Canceling American Athletes to Punish Russia: The 1980 Moscow Olympics Boycott
As Russian troops, missiles, and tanks strike farther into Ukraine, American political elites and their allies are doing what they do best: punishing innocent people for the sins of others. Russian musicians, athletes, artists, and writers are finding they are not welcome at venues where they have performed for years, not because of anything they have done or said, but because they are easy targets for outraged Westerners looking to blame someone for the carnage.
For example, the International Olympic Committee is demanding the banning of Russian athletes from the Olympic Games. The current ban is across nearly all international sports, including track and field, soccer, hockey, ice skating, and more. While Western governments and sports authorities have no influence over the decisions of Russian leader Vladimir Putin, they have decided to punish people—many of whom have publicly (and bravely) denounced the Ukraine invasion—in what truly is a mean-spirited and empty gesture.
More than forty years ago, in the wake of the Soviet Union’s 1979 invasion of Afghanistan, instead of having athletes from the USSR banned from international competition, President Jimmy Carter managed to ban athletes from the United States. The event was the 1980 Olympic Games hosted by the Soviet Union in Moscow, and as Westerners are doing today, President Carter insisted on punishing people who had nothing to do with the invasion in order to take an action that had no effect on the Soviet army and certainly did not benefit the victims in Afghanistan.
Like the attacks on innocent bystanders today, Carter’s strategy was based more on looking as though he were “doing something” as opposed to allowing “business as usual.” Understand that the invasion of Afghanistan wa
Article from Mises Wire