Scott Double Down Calls For Olympics To Move Out Of China ‘For Safety Of U.S. Athletes’

Scott Double Down Calls For Olympics To Move Out Of China ‘For Safety Of U.S. Athletes’

Mona Salama
Mona Salama
November 22, 2021

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) is doubling down his calls to move the 2022 Winter Olympics out of Beijing, citing the “safety of U.S. athletes” is at stake following the disappearance of a Chinese tennis star after she accused a senior Chinese official of sexual assault earlier this month.

“Agreed, @EnesKanter. I’ve been saying this for two years: the U.S. government must urge the @IOC and the world to move the 2022 Olympics out of Communist China and to a nation that respects human rights. The safety of U.S. athletes and all in the Games is at stake. #WhereIsPengShuai,” Scott tweeted Monday.

In the tweet, Scott shared a Wall Street Journal opinion piece written by NBA Boston Celtics player Enes Kanter, an outspoken critic of the Chinese Communist Party. In his piece published Saturday, Kanter called for the International Olympics Committee (IOC) to move the Olympics out of China for “the sake” of missing Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai. The Boston Celtics star also called on the sports community to “wake up and speak up” and use social media platforms to “lend a voice to those being silenced.”

Kanter went on to take a slap at NBA star LeBron James for prioritizing money over morals, referring to the LA Lakers star ignoring slave labor in China while partnering with Nike.

“We must also stop giving priority to money over morals. Claiming we are ‘misinformed’ or ‘not really educated’ should no longer be an excuse,” Kanter wrote. “Take initiative. Reach out to activists and communities. Try to learn about the Chinese government’s abuses. We can all be better allies and stand in solidarity.”

IOC on Sunday said the missing Chinese tennis star reappeared and told Olympic officials in a video call from Beijing that she was safe and well. In a 30-minute call with the Switzerland-based Olympic body, the IOC president Thomas Bach in a statement, said that Peng “thanked the IOC for its concern about her well-being.”

The call appears to be Peng’s first direct contact with officials outside China since her disappearance from public view on Nov. 2. where she claimed three weeks later to the IOC body that “she is safe and well, living at her home in Beijing, but would like to have her privacy respected at this time.”

Peng, who played for China at three Olympics from 2008 to 2016, took to the Chinese social media, Weibo, three weeks ago and made sexual assault accusations against a former member of the Communist Party’s ruling Standing Committee, Zhang Gaoli. The post of Peng was removed within minutes, and the Chinese tennis player went missing from public view ever since before apparently re-emerging Sunday to speak to the IOC virtually.

Peng’s disappearance and official silence prompted calls for a boycott of the Winter Olympics in Beijing in February, a prestige event for the Communist Party.

Last week, Scott called on the Department of Homeland Security to report to the Senate Homeland Security Committee on how the Biden administration plans to protect American athletes after President Biden announced a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games following his virtual meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“Reports are showing that the Biden administration is going to engage in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Olympic Games, distracting from the fact that Biden has spent months ignoring calls from me, human rights groups, and others to demand that the International Olympic Committee to move the Games to a country that actually respects human rights. Biden’s weak choice for a diplomatic boycott also does NOTHING to ensure the safety of American athletes who will undoubtedly by targets for Communist China to surveil and steal data and personal information,” Scott said in a statement last Tuesday.

“As a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, I am calling on the Department of Homeland Security to explain to the Committee what they are doing to ensure athletes are protected while traveling to Beijing. Their safety and security cannot be put in jeopardy,” Scott added.

Scott has been a vocal Senator on the horrific human rights atrocities occurring across Communist China and repeatedly has requested a meeting with Biden regarding the president’s plan to protect the safety and personal information of American athletes competing in the 2022 winter games in Beijing. The Florida Senator’s has called for a meeting with Biden, but it has largely been ignored as both the president and his administration refuse to respond to Scott’s letters sent last month or earlier this year requesting a meeting over inquiries about the 2022 Olympic Games.

Mona Salama

Mona Salama

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