Stories like this just sound ridiculous. I mean, how could a sporting competition led by the Western Democracies ask host cities (and nations) to limit free speech. Even worse, how could the cities (and nations) of these Western Democracies even consider agreeing to such a draconian and anti-Democratic condition?
Over the last few years we’ve seen Western nations move away from the idea that free expression and free speech are basic human rights and even our closest allies (like Canada, Great Britain and France) have begun putting limits on these sacred and innate human rights. Sadly, now it appears that America too is falling into the trap of limiting the rights of their citizens. The mayor of Boston, in a bid to strengthen his city’s Olympic bid, has ordered his employees NOT to criticize the Olympics!
I kid you not…
As part of a bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh has ordered all city employees not to criticize the Olympics or the process of hosting the Olympics.
City workers cannot write or say anything that might “reflect unfavorably” on, “denigrate or disparage,” or damage the reputation of the International Olympic Committee, the U.S. Olympic Committee or the Olympics, the agreement signed by Walsh states.
Walsh signed the agreement with the United States Olympic Committee as part of Boston’s bid, reported The New York Times. After news of the agreement broke, Walsh released a statement defending the move, calling it standard procedure for any city that wants to host the Olympics.
“Mayor Walsh is not looking to limit the free speech of his employees and, as residents of Boston, he fully supports them participating in the community process,” Walsh said in the statement.
An attorney at the American Civil Liberties of Massachusetts said the agreement is blatantly unconstitutional. “What’s wrong with this decree is that it has no limits,” Sarah Wunsch told The Boston Globe. “It doesn’t say you have the right, as a citizen, to speak on matters of public concern.”
Walsh insists he will not limit debate on the games, regardless of the agreement. ”I believe in free speech,” Walsh told The Globe. “I’ve believed in free speech my whole time.”
“If a city employee isn’t happy and on their own personal time goes to Facebook or Twitter or any other social media, that’s fine,” he added.
The host of the 2017 Olympic Games is expected to be decided in 2017.