Sports has long had an impact on international relations. Technology and globalization have enhanced the reach of modern, elite sports and superstar athletes. Their global reach has only heightened how sports and the major organisations can and should respond to major global trends and issues of the day.
From human rights concerns around the 2022 Qatar World Cup to the International Olympic Committee’s Refugee Team, world issues are constantly being played out in international sports. The balance between speaking out against injustices and building an apolitical environment for entertainment is difficult. Audiences and participants are being asked to increasingly speak out perceived injustices and abuses of power in the hope of enacting change for a better world. The blending of sports with international politics continues apace.
As the Beijing Olympics begin, a panel of speakers discuss:
What happens when major sports organisations take a stronger stance on global issues? What are the implications for international relations?
What impact can elite level athletes have on political issues of the day and effect change? Does an athlete automatically speak for the country they represent?
What is the future of global sports in an increasingly polarized word?