Why a U.S. Olympic boycott would be really bad idea

Thursday August 8th, 2013
There have been calls for the U.S. to boycott the 2014 Sochi Olympics over Russia's new law banning the discussion of gay rights.

By boycotters' logic, we should have boycotted the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, because China has a deplorable human rights record. People pushing for a boycott misunderstand the Olympics. Of all the possible threats against another country -- war, weapons buildups, cutting humanitarian aid, etc. -- an Olympic boycott threat is comically toothless. But if you send your finest athletes to that country, they can help open minds and reduce tensions, at least a little bit. The Olympics only work, on a political and moral level, if people participate.

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