Hypocrisy isn’t an Olympic sport, but if it was, the winner would be clear: The corporate sponsors.
This fact was clear well before the Tokyo Summer Olympics ended this month. A few days before, in a formal hearing, members of Congress grilled some of the biggest corporate backers about why they support holding the next Winter Olympics in Beijing – the capital of the world’s worst human rights abuser, Communist China. Without fail, the companies refused to criticize China’s horrific actions, much less throw their weight behind moving or canceling the 2022 competition.
The lack of moral courage is extraordinary. At least 13 of the 15 biggest sponsors of Tokyo 2020 are on track to sponsor Beijing 2022, from Coca-Cola to Airbnb to Visa. Many of the companies are American, and they generally claim to support human rights. Yet, when confronted with the reality of China’s oppression of 1.4 billion people and genocide against millions of mostly Muslim Uyghurs, they stay silent.