Major Sporting Events Marred by Human Rights and Racism Concerns
February 13, 2022
Cited interview by PBS
HRRC recognizes the mask that many sporting events provide in covering up existing human rights violations and racism. While sporting events offer opportunity for open discussion between governments regarding such issues, it is also important to hold those accountable who are profiting from these events and ignoring the pervasive discrimination and abuses involved.
PBS held an interview between Hari Sceenivasaan and Jane McManus about the Olympics in China and the Super Bowl in the United States, both of which are marred by allegations of human rights abuses and racism, respectively. The Olympics in China has faced diplomatic boycotts and public scrutiny due to the ongoing genocide of the Uighur people. Additionally, the Super Bowl highlights the existing disparity between players and coaches and managers in the NFL (National Football League), where the majority of players are from the black community, and the coaches and managers are predominantly white. Further, there are growing concerns pertaining to the Black Lives Matter movement and sponsorship of teams in the NFL.
These major sporting events bring a significant amount of revenue. According to the interview, 30 states in the US have allowed betting on sporting events such as the Super Bowl. These sporting events also garner widespread attention both locally and internationally, drawing the interest and attendance of celebrities and political officials. In light of the ongoing human rights abuses and discrimination, the Olympics and Super Bowl are met with a division between those who see them as pure entertainment and are willing to ignore the existing problems, and those who do not participate in viewership because of the potential for supporting the discriminatory and abusive actions taking place in each country.