With only months until the 2012 Olympics, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has helpfully provided a hierarchy of prejudices for national Olympic committees to keep in mind when selecting their competitors.
The IOC’s own charter states that ‘any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, sex or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement’. However, it has recently been emphasised that some discrimination is definitely worse than others.
In an attempt to explain the current situation, a spokesperson from the IOC told The Wobbly Block: ‘Racial discrimination is certainly out. That is very bad prejudice. We wouldn’t allow a national committee to do that. However, things like gender discrimination and certainly discrimination against homosexuals is clearly not as bad. Everyone knows that.’
The decision by the IOC to take no action against Saudi Arabia is thought to be the first time this new hierarchy has been used. The Middle Eastern kingdom has steadfastly refused to allow any of its women to compete at the Olympics and will be the only country not sending at least one female to the 2012 games.
A spokesman for the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee said ‘Allowing women to compete at the Olympics will inevitably lead to calls for them to be allowed to drive, travel unaccompanied or to wait until they are a teenager before being married. In other words, anarchy.’ Later adding ‘And don’t get me started on those who are the gay!’
Colin Brown, former director of London Swimming, and an expert in prejudice, unfortunately had no comment to make.