Compilation of the debate led by former professional cyclist and journalist Marijn de Vries.
Exercise, and therefore also sports, is healthy; you can clear your head, feel better and more resilient in life. There is nothing wrong with sports, on the contrary! On the NOC*NSF website you can read; 'Sport inspires, sport connects, sport unites. It ensures more understanding and respect for each other, and thus a better balance in society'.
This sounds very positive, but there are also other voices when it comes to the organization of major sporting events: about human rights violations that are directly related to the organization of the event, such as forced evictions for the construction of stadiums or the exploitation of workers involved in that construction, such as in 2022 at the World Cup Soccer in Qatar. An event that many people with a football heart look forward to with great anticipation.
There is also such a thing as 'sports washing'. This is the case when a country wants to polish its image by organizing a prestigious sporting event or by purchasing or sponsoring a renowned sports team and to conceal the fact that there is a lot wrong with respecting human rights.
What is our students view on this?
The debate took place on 14 November, 2022 in the Speakers' Corner at The Hague University of Applied Sciences.