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The Ban On Russian Athletes By Mark Hollis

The fallout from the recent invasion by Vladimir Putin’s Russian troops into Ukraine has triggered an outcry from the world of sports. The war crimes that are on display from cities such as Mariupol have been hard to watch. Every media outlet tells the story of families stripped from the lives they once knew to now experiencing being destitute in the cities and towns they love. Many have fled to neighboring countries such as Poland with men of certain ages left behind to defend their country. Individuals from all walks of life from doctors, bankers, factory workers and athletes are picking up arms to fight the aggressor. The Russian soldiers are murdering without remorse men, women, and children. There have also been numerous reports of women being raped when coming under Russian occupation. So, as a show of solidarity, the world of sports implemented action in a way of intervening against Putin’s war.

Here is a list of some sanctions being enforced:

  • Russian and Belarusian Para-Olympians are banned from the 2022 games.
  • Formula One racing will no longer host the Russian Grand Prix.
  • In Soccer, Russian National teams are banned from competing in FIFA and UEFA events.
  • In tennis, players from Russia and Belarus are banned from playing Wimbledon and Davis Cup events. Additionally, they will not be able to participate in the Billie Jean King Cup completion.
  • In Hockey, the International Ice Hockey Federation banned teams from Russia and Belarus from competition.

In my opinion, it’s important to present a wall of solidarity as an intervention to halt Putin’s war and bring peace to the people of Ukraine. The Russians embrace their ability to compete athletically in major venues and to deny them access will result in turmoil and frustration. This will be one more spoke in the wheel of dissension that may drive people to protest and push for the truth of what’s happening in Ukraine. Russian media has taken the directive from its political leaders to not broadcast the invasion. Instead, they chose to perpetuate the lie that Nazis are ruling their neighboring country. In a word it’s diabolical.

I say BCTABATN! (Rise!)