(The Post Millennial) – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants US athletes participating in the upcoming Olympic games to keep quiet on politics while they’re overseas in China. It was spoken from a perspective of fear for their safety, rather than a position of trying to personally appease Chinese interests.
“I would say to our athletes, you’re there to compete. Do not risk incurring the anger of the Chinese government because they are ruthless. I know there is a temptation on the part of some, to speak out while they are there. I respect that. But I also worry about what the Chinese government might do to their reputations, to their families.”
The country has already courted negative attention internationally for how they handled the COVID isolation of Belgian skeleton racer Kim Meylemans.
According to the Washington Examiner, Pelosi made those remarks at a Thrusday hearing for the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. The panel’s purpose was to bring attention to Chinese current events issues ahead of the official launch of the Olympic games on Friday.
Pelosi continued by saying: “Make no mistake, our athletes should participate. They’ve trained, they’re disciplined, they’ve dreamed, they’ve aspired, they’ve worked hard. But this year we must celebrate them from home as they compete in China.”
The statement alludes to the fact that the United States and several other countries have decided to not send government officials to the 2022 Winter Olympic Games themselves. Australia, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, and the United Kingdom have joined the US in the diplomatic boycott, per Axios.
India recently joined this diplomatic ban themselves, with the country making the announcement on Thursday.
While the USA and Biden administration has made it clear they’re supporting athletes, they’re staying home in a sign of protest to issues like China’s human rights abuses of Uyghur Muslims in the province of Xinjiang, amongst other issues. It’s an issue of outspoken importance for Boston Celtics NBA player Enes Kanter, who made headlines last year for his criticisms of China’s Xi Jinping.