Double standards when it comes to the Olympics
There’s been numerous negative stories in the lead up to the London Olympics – from weightlifters allegedly holding their team to ransom, swimmers posing with guns, questionable equestrian team selections, married shooters not being able to share a room due to money disputes and differences between air travel for men and women athletes.
These stories have seemed to taken a toll on the interest and enthusiasm for the upcoming Olympics.
People also take issue with the IOC’s behaviour and the commercialisation of the Olympics. There is no doubt that the IOC’s past behaviour leaves a lot to be desired but sponsorship is a major part of the Olympics and is needed to fund such a massive event.
Now it is reasonable when you look at these issues to make criticisms of the Olympics and it can explain a decrease in interest.
On the other hand we see the AFL and NRL go from strength to strength despite issues and problems that dwarf those of the Olympics.
We have a prominent ex NRL player up on murder charges, a former rugby union player being arrested for murder, Ricky Nixon constantly in the headlines for bad behaviour in the AFL and violence against women including rape, assaults and sex scandals plague the NRL and AFL.
Yet you rarely see Australian sports fan condemn or turn away from league or Aussie Rules as a result. League and Aussie Rules are definitely teflon sports.
As for commercialisation, League for decades has been funded by poker machines and problem gamblers. You can’t watch an NRL game without in-game betting advertisements being shoved down your throat. Then there’s alcoholic beverage sponsoring representative teams in the NRL.
Look at an AFL guernsey or NRL jersey and they are plastered with sponsorship logos that dwarf the team names. Players are running billboards playing for franchises backed by large corporations, yet people complain about the Olympics being taken over by multinational corporations.
As for corruption let’s not forget when it comes to corruption FIFA make the IOC look like angels. Yet the World Cup doesn’t get the same scrutiny as the Olympics – except when Australia suffers as a result (i.e. Qatar winning 2022 hosting).
Simple question is why is there such a double standard in our judgements and standards between the Olympics and our traditional sporting codes?
You only have to read the comments on The Roar or on Fairfax or News Ltd websites to see people saying they are turning off the Games. Hype and general interest for these Games is noticeably down from previous Olympics.
If the worst thing in the lead-up to these Olympics is a weightlifter demanding a few extra dollars to compete or two idiot swimmers posing with guns for a photo and you compare that to antics that go on year in and year out in the NRL and AFL, then interest in the Olympics shouldn’t be declining.
If the IOC want to attach Coca-Cola or McDonalds to their event, then what is the big deal when the NRL makes millions off the misery and pain of gambling addicts and alcoholics?
There are many criticisms Australian sports fans can direct at the Olympics and the IOC but why don’t they direct those same criticisms to our local sports?