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I'm Boycotting the Olympics. Here's Why You Should, Too

1 in 10 Americans plan to boycott the Sochi Olympics this month because of Russian leader Vladimir Putin's policies. Will you?

Credit: Ap Images / Mary Altaffer
Credit: Ap Images / Mary Altaffer

The persecution of a feminist punk rockband. HomophobiaStrange bathroom rules.

As the Winter Olympics begin this week on Vladimir Putin’s home-turf in Sochi, Russia, I’m wrestling with whether to watch.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the Olympics and I love the stories of athletes who worked their entire lives to reach this moment. But, I’m torn by the idea of supporting an Olympics games hosted by a world leader such as Putin.

Putin’s outspoken homophobia and desires to “cleanse” Russia of homosexuals is unacceptable to me. Too strong a whiff of Hitler there (any whiff is too strong, really).

And then there is the imprisonment of members of the feminist punk group Pussy Riot. They were arrested and convicted of “hooliganism” for … playing music in public places that also served as peaceful protests.

Only recently freed from prison, group members went head to head with Stephen Colbert this week.

So, to watch or not to watch.

I don’t want to end up punishing the wrong parties (like American athletes). As an individual viewer and not, say, a world leader, what difference would it make?

According to CNN commentator Hilary Rosen, herself a gay activist, not watching the games would do very little: “Here’s how I look at it: Russia doesn’t make any more money if the ratings are high, versus if the ratings are low.”

Still, a poll conducted by YouGov reveals that 11 percent of Americans will not watch the Olympics this year because of Putin’s policies.

That’s a lot of Americans.

Could that kind of backlash trickle down and over to Russia, via a future reticence to engage with a such a political regime? Coca-Cola and McDonalds might think twice before sponsoring the event in Russia again.

I’m erring on the side of caution and will sit this one out.  Besides, Pussy Riot asked me to.

CowDung February 07, 2014 at 12:08 PM
...and that isn't the Russian police beating gays in the street. Don't you read the stuff you link?
Jeffrey Wright February 07, 2014 at 12:36 PM
I'm boycotting the boycott ...... 1 in 11 people are !!
Vito Spago February 07, 2014 at 12:39 PM
The queer lifestyle is not normal, but they should not be harmed or jailed.
Rich Brandeis February 07, 2014 at 12:47 PM
It's not a boycott, but I'm not watching the Winter Olympics. The last thing I want to see right now is more snow and ice. Come back in July and I'll watch snowboarding.
CAROLE February 07, 2014 at 02:36 PM
Go USA!!! God bless our athletes, one and ALL.
A Delargo February 07, 2014 at 05:32 PM
Boycott the Olympics because The people running Russia don't recognize gays as normal ? I agree with them. Gays don't need special treatment, they need mental professionals. These are people that are so broken that they deny who and what they are. Therapy !
robert wilson February 07, 2014 at 06:13 PM
Not a good enough reason.
Joseph Morabito February 07, 2014 at 09:05 PM
I wish I cared enough about wasting time in front of the idiot box, watching pro athletes participate in dull winter sports, but I never have... so, though I'd love to boycott, boycotting something you already avoid is sort of a BS move... don'tcha think? I have Netflix for a reason... to avoid the temptation in the first place.
Susan Setley February 07, 2014 at 11:49 PM
Sorry, but the Olympics are about coming together. I like the Star Trek idea that we shouldn't interfere with the development of other cultures. It would be easy to point fingers at us too. We are one of a handful of first world countries that still have the death penalty. We're not so perfect. For 16 days we can focus on things that bring us together, and if anything will save the world, that attitude will.
Bob McBride February 08, 2014 at 10:34 AM
I'm boycotting HalePatch until they get rid of Catherine Crawford.
Citizen Right February 08, 2014 at 02:04 PM
I'll watch as I have in the past...watch some, ignore others. None of these reasons is enough to boycott the Olympics.
Bob Rosenthal February 08, 2014 at 03:31 PM
I intend to watch what I want to watch on TV. We all have the freedom to switch channels if we don't like what is being broadcast. I certainly will watch the Olympics. I'm not going to change my mind just because someone is upset and doesn't agree with the politics of a country. The Olympics is about the athletes, not Russia.
Thomas Breyfogle February 08, 2014 at 06:04 PM
"I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and lived here even though sometime back they may have entered illegally." -Ronald Reagan 10/28/1984
Ann Hudren February 08, 2014 at 09:35 PM
Boycotts are ineffective. BP was not run out of business after the Gulf oil disaster. Chevron didn't suffer with its Hugo Chavez connection. In a more relevant example, the LGBT community boycotted ChickfilA and the restaurant chain has actually increased in sales in an already highly successful business. Many countries all over the World do not support LGBT "rights", and the international Olympic committee would be hard pressed to find countries that fit any political agenda du jour. Controversy in some form has embroiled in almost every Olympics and this one is no different. The media machine has just gotten louder, and that why many of us just are tired of the noise. I will watch to support all US athletes - regardless of their political beliefs, sexual preference, race, religion, etc, etc, etc. Go USA!
Sir William Macken February 09, 2014 at 12:45 PM
Hitler held the Olympics.... And he killed.... He also acknowledged, Owens, an African American who placed four gold medals....our own presidents at the time didn't even acknowledge Owens....u know cuz of racism... Just by looking at this post I can see intolerance here in the US.... Perhaps Russia and the US are not so different, In That stupid people exist everywhere. -Mac
Vito Spago February 09, 2014 at 01:00 PM
Macken: Black is a race. Queer is not a race but a lifestyle. Queers can have 100 partners in a year. Heteros are never like that unless they star in porn films or are prostitutes. Queers are the definition of perverts. It is good to not tolerate perverts. Ask Woody Allen.
Wallst February 09, 2014 at 01:11 PM
I would like to personally thank Vito Spago for once again showing everyone here what it is to be the most stupid human on earth. Bravo, job well done.
Joseph Morabito February 09, 2014 at 01:16 PM
Wallst, I beg to differ... I'm a guest at your Patch, but if you were ever to wander into the Lake Elsinore/Wildomar Patch, you'd see we have plenty of people that would give this Vito guy a run for his money when it comes to being stupid, and inane.
Wallst February 09, 2014 at 01:21 PM
@Joseph Morabito, I believe you. Hey, listen, there are people who voted for GW Bush, not once, but TWICE, so I'm fully aware that "stupid" exists further than we imagine.
Thomas Breyfogle February 09, 2014 at 02:41 PM
...And why this article was posted on a Patch near Chicago I have no idea...but hey, so be it.
Vito Spago February 09, 2014 at 03:17 PM
Typical Libtard reaction when they see a position they do not agree with: Namecalling and threats of violence. Perhaps that is why all the mass shooters were liberals. They cannot stand it when someone does not agree with them. I haven't called any one of you names or threatened violence. We know that you know you are wasting your time when you try to convince the world that men who have 100 sex partners a year in rest rooms are normal. You have the entire world laughing at you.
Joseph Morabito February 09, 2014 at 08:14 PM
Who are you barking at Vito? I voted against O'Banana in 2012. Since when is your inane and base approach to communicating with others a left/right issue? You just got done calling names (libtard)... then you blast name callers. In the immortal words of Nelson Muntz: Ha Ha. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Based on this thread, you are very homo-aware. I dislike Nascar, therefor I never bring up Nascar (other than in this narrow example). If you don't like the gays, stop talking about them every chance you get... and in such vivid, sexually explicit detail. We all know why gays are your favorite topic, just like why 'getting between my wife's legs' is my favorite topic... because we want it, and we want it now. Just give into your desires, and be done with it already.
Thomas Breyfogle February 09, 2014 at 09:32 PM
Bend over, no lube, Vito!
Thomas Breyfogle February 10, 2014 at 12:36 AM
Folks, before you complain about non-local news on Patch, or people from out of your area commenting on your post, please tell me why an article from Hollywood was posted in the Chicago suburbs to begin with!
chris February 10, 2014 at 12:51 AM
If you can't cover the news from my locality, this site is not worth coming to at all. Generic articles about lifestyle and culture don't cut it either. You may think it works because it is relatable to the majority of Americans, but it doesn't. What we really want to see is names and places from home. Goodbye Half Hollow Hills Patch.
Wallst February 10, 2014 at 04:15 AM
Just found out the truth about Vito. He's in the closet. He's another Ted Haggart folks. Come on out, Vito, it's ok, no one will bite.
Bob McBride February 10, 2014 at 06:52 AM
Thomas Breyfogle February 10, 2014 at 12:36 AM Folks, before you complain about non-local news on Patch, or people from out of your area commenting on your post, please tell me why an article from Hollywood was posted in the Chicago suburbs to begin with! :::: Based on an explanation given in another comment section by someone using the name "Patch" and claiming to be part of staff at the national level, "local" now means where the article originated, not where it ultimately ends up. For instance, an article written by someone "local" to Hollywood could end up everywhere else if deemed to fit into the "Trending Now on Patch" category by TPTB (I know it doesn't make a lot of sense - don't shoot the messenger).
Bob McBride February 10, 2014 at 06:58 AM
And just to make things even more confusing, even though the origin of this article shows up as Hollywood, the author of the article actually operates out of the New York area. Maybe a simpler explanation would be that the words "local" and "hyper-local" as it relates to Patch at this point in time mean virtually anything they want them to mean, or nothing at all.
nonoise February 10, 2014 at 10:46 AM
No church amplified sound systems! No recorded bells and/or church music forced into my home! Tell Divine Saviour Catholic Church, 90065 to turn off their noisy bullhorns!
Thomas Breyfogle February 10, 2014 at 01:16 PM
That was not appropriate language, Bob.

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