Republican senators pressure NBC over 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing
Some U.S. lawmakers have concerns about the decision to hold the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, and they are urging NBC not to air it if they can’t get the Olympic Committee to change the location.
In a letter addressed to NBCUniversal CEO Stephen Burke and NBC Olympics President Gary Zenkel, Florida Republican Sen. Rick Scott and Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley asked the network not to put profits over human rights.
“Communist China is one of the great human rights abusers in the world, and it presents a threat to the safety and security of every athlete and tourist who will travel to Beijing,” the letter states. “The 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing will provide the Chinese government access to a global array of dignitaries, athletes, corporations, and government entities, a risk that should be avoided at all costs.”
Furthermore, the senators cited documents obtained by The New York Times that showed the Communist regime spies on civilians and treats them as military threats.
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Scott and Hawley said many senators had shared similar concerns with the International Olympic Committee, which said it is dedicated to remaining politically neutral.
A spokesperson for the International Olympic Committee did not immediately return FOX Business’ request for comment.
Unsatisfied with the response from the IOC, the senators asked NBC to stand with them. They want NBC to either request a re-bid for the 2022 Winter Games, so that another city can win the right to host, or to refuse to air the games.
A spokesperson for NBC did not return FOX Business’ request for comment.
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Beijing won the bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics in July 2015. The city will become the first to have hosted both the summer and winter games. Set to take place in February 2022, the games will coincide with the Chinese New Year.
NBCUniversal paid $7.75 billion in 2014 for exclusive rights to air the six Olympic Games from 2022 to 2032.
Meanwhile, trade tensions between the U.S. and China have appeared to ease somewhat, after leaders from the world’s two largest economies announced a phase one trade deal. It would ease tariffs on some Chinese goods, while Beijing has agreed to up its purchase of certain U.S. agricultural exports.