A few days ago, a Greek athlete at the Olympics was barred from competing due to a racist tweet. Some thought it too severe a punishment; others thought that the Olympics should acknowledge and deal with such behavior.
How then should the International Olympic Committee a request for a minute of silence to honor the 40th anniversary of 11 Israeli athletes who were murdered by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Munich games? One might think that if an athlete was expelled for an off color joke, that surely the murder of 11 human beings would be worthy of one minute of remembrance.
Why exactly is the IOC opposed to a rather modest attempt to commemorate the victims of terror? According to Ankie Spitzer, the widow of Israeli fencing coach Andre Spitzer, who was murdered by the Palestinian Black September group in 1972, IOC president Jacques Rogge capitulated to the 46-member bloc of Arab and Muslim countries because of the threat of Arab countries to boycott participation in the Games.
IOC president Jacques Rogge responded to Mrs. Spitzer that "his hands were tied." He said that such an action was "blocked" by the Arab and Muslim group.
Mrs. Spitzer responded with one of the most apt rejoinders ever:
“No, my husband’s hands were tied, not yours.”
It's reasonable to argue that the Olympics is a place without focus on anything but sports. It's also reasonable to argue that in the spirit of the Olympics, some politics must be taken into account - like rejecting an athlete who makes racist comments, or in acknowledging that 11 athletes were murdered due to hate and prejudice.
What is not reasonable is to remove an athlete for a tweet - and then fail to remember the eleven lives that were snuffed out by hatred. Yet - that is exactly what we have.