The Wheeler Centre
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Fair Game: Sport and Human Rights
All sorts of lofty ideals are projected onto the world of competitive sport. Sport is supposed to unite people across races and cultures. It’s supposed to deliver us role models. It’s supposed to provide a common talking point across social divides. Our expectations of sporting figures and sporting events sometimes seem unreasonably high and, at other times, contemptibly low.
What happens when we examine these expectations through the lens of human rights?
Can sporting boycotts embarrass governments into addressing human rights abuses? What are the costs of major sporting events like the Olympic Games and the World Cup in terms of human displacement? How well do events such as the Paralympics enhance the human rights of people with disabilities?
And, what toll does public scrutiny play on the personal lives of athletes? Does the demand that athletes act as model citizens – or model representatives for racial or cultural minorities – infringe on their personal freedom and privacy?
Presented in partnership with the Human Rights Law Centre.