In 1968 I organized the Olympic Project for Human Rights. Its purpose was to carry out a black athletes’ boycott of the Mexico City Olympic Games in protest against racism in American sports in particular and American society in general. Those of us associated with OPHR were viciously attacked in the U.S. media for introducing politics into the Olympics. My response to these attacks was simple: “The Olympics are and have always been political!” My position on this issue has not changed, but now I am far from alone in my view.
This is Part I of a two-part discussion of the 1984 Summer Olympic Games. Part II will analyze the events and circumstances associated with the games themselves, and will appear in a subsequent issue of the SSJ (ed).
Direct all correspondence to: Harry Edwards, Department of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720.