United States could boycott 2022 Winter Olympics in China

2022 Winter Olympics boycott, China
Aug 12, 2016; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; View of a China flag during the men’s 20km walk in the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games at Pontal. Mandatory Credit: Guy Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Pressure from the west continues to mount as it relates to human rights violations allegedly being committed by the communist government in China. That could now include the United States joining other countries in boycotting the coming 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. At least, this is what State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Tuesday.

“A coordinated approach will not only be in our interest but also in the interest of our allies and partners,” Price said at a news conference, via CNBC.

This comes immediately after the State Department released its annual report on human rights, which blasted the oppressive leadership within the eastern economic powerhouse. It also comes amid growing tensions between the new administration in Washington D.C. and the powers that be within China.

United States threatens to boycott 2022 Winter Olympics

2022 Winter Olympics boycott, China
Feb 25, 2018; PyeongChang, South Korea; The flags of China and Greece fly during the closing ceremony for the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games at Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

At issue here is alleged genocide committed by the authorities in China directed at a minority Uighur Muslim population. China is being accused of sending more than a million to “re-education camps” while utilizing forced labor. The State Department also points to the disappearance of four journalists who were covering the initial coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan late in 2019.

From the perspective of the sports world, a boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics would just add another layer to growing issues between the leaders in Beijing and aspects of the sports community in the United States. Remember the entire scandal when then-Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey showed support for Hong Kong in its battle for independence from China? A boycott would increase tensions even more.

All of this comes after the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While we’re a long way from the United States deciding to join other countries in boycotting the 2022 Winter Olympics, it’s definitely going to be a storyline in the United States after MLB pulled its All-Star Game from Georgia amid restrictive voting laws in the state.

There’s certainly a discussion to be had here. And whether it’s in the form of a diplomatic boycott or the United States refusing to send its athletes to China next year, something could be on the horizon here soon.