Sport v. Human Rights

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Eurozine’s Mihir Bose lays out the development of modern athletics in connection with human rights, citing the political and ethical pressures involved in not-so-nice countries hosting major sports events.

He writes that the International Olympic Committee, among other major governing bodies of sport, has paid little attention to its founding rhetoric in the last 100 years. Pierre de Coubertin, the French baron who revived the Olympics in the late 19th century, thought “that sport can transmit values within and between nations through regular international competition.” Bose points out that his understanding has been lost on the IOC and cites the legacy of Nazi Germany’s propaganda-filled 1936 Olympics and the protests that were kept under wraps during China’s 2008 games as examples of the IOC’s missteps.

Beyond the IOC and more recently, the F-1 race series recently held a race in Bahrain, despite the deaths of 31 protesters.


Graham Todd is an intern at The Rumpus. He spends his mornings writing post-apocalyptic, vaguely biblical sci-fi horror comedy, his evenings tutoring the wide-eyed youth of the Palo Alto area, and his Thursdays at The Rumpus office, effectively “off the streets”. Beyond this weekly ritual, he enjoys karaoke, the movies, and jogging. More from this author →