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Thread: Sport and Politics

  1. #1
    Administrator CatInASuit's avatar
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    Default Sport and Politics

    This weekend the F1 roadshow will pull into Bahrain for its inaugural F1 Grand Prix against a backdrop of civil unrest, bloodshed and violence.

    Several of the people involved in F1 have said that the politics of the region aer not really their concern and they are there to provide a show and run the sport. There only concern is for the safety of the teams and making sure all goes according to plan.

    Its a different stance from the anti-apartheid movements which did affect sports like cricket and golf, where people who played in South Africa were not welcome.

    So at what point, if any, should sport make a stand or should it remain resolutely on the sidelines and leave the politics to the politicians?
    In the land of the blind, the one-arm man is king.

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    Oliphaunt The Original An Gadaí's avatar
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    Despite protestations of the money makers in sports, sports serve to legitimise political power, even when it is corrupt, bloodthirsty etc. I'm staunchly opposed to major international sporting events being held in such countries. I'm probably in a minority in that regard. I don't think China, for example, should have been allowed stage the Olympics until it's a democracy. However, the coffers of middle-eastern dictatorships are typically overflowing with cash, which they invest in various sports, to both make money and to gain international prestige they don't deserve.

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    Member Elendil's Heir's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The Original An Gadaí View post
    Despite protestations of the money makers in sports, sports serve to legitimise political power, even when it is corrupt, bloodthirsty etc. I'm staunchly opposed to major international sporting events being held in such countries. I'm probably in a minority in that regard. I don't think China, for example, should have been allowed stage the Olympics until it's a democracy. However, the coffers of middle-eastern dictatorships are typically overflowing with cash, which they invest in various sports, to both make money and to gain international prestige they don't deserve.
    I generally agree with you, but hosting an international sporting event can also open the country to winds of change, as was seen in South Korea in 1988: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1988_Su...in_South_Korea

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    Administrator CatInASuit's avatar
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    Well with the grand prix over and a little bit of time later, its interesting to see what the effect was.

    I think both sides in Bahrain actually benefitted from it. The ruling party got to show that they could hold things together, but the opposition got a lot of coverage. The reporters got to sneak out a lot of stories and it looks as though people are far more aware of the situation than the rumours from before.

    I think that sport can be used to help open borders and get governments to possibly change some attitudes towards the outside world.

    Having said that, it will be interesting to see what the effect of the World Cup in Qatar is going to be like. No Alcohol, no Gays. I wonder if attitudes will change before then?
    In the land of the blind, the one-arm man is king.

  5. #5
    The Queen Zuul's avatar
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    Since foreign nationals can buy alcohol there if they have a permit, it seems likely that there's going to be some unwanted drunken revelry at some point.
    So now they are just dirt-covered English people in fur pelts with credit cards.

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