For Olympians, Conscience Battles Wallet

Protesting could get athletes thrown out of Games
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2008 2:24 PM CDT
Political activists hold a banner opposing the Chinese bid for the 2008 Olympic Games at the Athletissima meeting, in this July 4, 2001 file photo.   (AP Photo/KEYSTONE, Fabrice Coffrini, File)
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(Newser) – The Beijing Olympics will be rife with protesters, but athletes may be reluctant to be among them, reports the New York Times. Olympic rules forbid protests or propaganda at Olympic sites, and sponsors are sure to frown on such activity. Even Team Darfur, a protest group with many Olympian members, understands. For many sports, “This is their one time every four years to make money,” said a group co-founder.

One US softball player said she’d wear her Team Darfur wristbands around Beijing, but “I’m not about to go into China and tell their government what to do.” Others intend to protest despite the risks. “I’ve seen what those kids are going through, and it’s really, really bad,” said one Angolan basketball player. “It doesn’t matter what will happen to me.”