With just days until the opening ceremonies, controversy still remains. From a social responsibility perspective, should the Tokyo Olympics go on?
A Controversial Question: Should the Tokyo Olympics Go On?
During the last several weeks, questions about holding the Olympics have intensified. At present, Tokyo is under a COVID-19 state of emergency. Several prominent athletes have chosen not to participate. And some have been placed into a COVID-19 quarantine. In addition, Toyota — a major Olympics sponsor — decided not to advertise in Japan. Finally, no fans will attend. As the Olympics become a purely made-for-TV (and other media) event.
According to Felix Richter, writing yesterday for Statista:
With the Tokyo Olympics just days away, now would normally the time that anticipation builds. For the Olympic spark to spread from the host country all over the world. As well as for athletes to wrap up years of preparation. This year, with COVID-19 still lurking, things remain different.
Sadly, the 2020 Summer Olympics, postponed to 2021 due to the pandemic, face a strange mix of indifference and dismissal. Amid fears of rising case numbers and aggressive virus variants, the Japanese people disapprove of the Tokyo Games. While the global public stays troubled getting excited for yet another crowdless event. One that seemingly prioritizing commercial interests over public health concerns.
According to a recent Ipsos survey, an average of 57 percent of respondents across the 28 countries oppose holding the games this year. With Japanese opposition particularly strong at 78 percent.
With athletes pulling out of the Olympics due to COVID infections and others reportedly testing positive after arriving at the Olympic Village, doubts over the safety of the megaevent continue to mount. According to a Asahi Shimbun poll, 68 percent of Japanese respondents doubt that the Games can be held “safe and secure”, a promise repeatedly made by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and the IOC.