OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged U.S. Olympic athletes not to speak out against the Chinese Communist Party while in Beijing.
On Friday, Pelosi said the U.S. athletes shouldn’t risk “incurring the anger” of the “ruthless” CCP.
“As I say, as I wish the athletes well, I do not encourage them to speak out against the Chinese government there because I fear for their safety if they do,” Pelosi said.
“Make no mistake — our athletes should participate,” Pelosi said. “They’ve trained, they’re disciplined, they’ve dreamed, they’ve aspired, they’ve worked hard. But this year we must celebrate them from home as they compete in China.”
Pelosi indicated she believes U.S. athletes should keep quiet in China to avoid the Chinese government’s wrath.
“I would say to our athletes: You’re there to compete. Do not risk incurring the anger of the Chinese government because they are ruthless,” Pelosi said. “I know there is a temptation on the part of some to speak out while they are there. I respect that, but I also worry about what the Chinese government might do to their reputations and to their families.”
Pelosi continued: “So, again, participate, let us celebrate from abroad, and don’t risk thinking that there are any good intentions on the part of the People’s Republic of China’s government — because there are none.”
Nancy Pelosi doubles down on telling U.S. athletes not to “speak out” against the Chinese Communist government during the Olympics. pic.twitter.com/cETMl9N2VO
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) February 4, 2022
Pelosi issued a similar warning on Thursday, encouraging U.S. athletes that they are “there to compete” and that she wanted them to be safe.
“Do not risk incurring the anger of the Chinese government because they are ruthless,” Pelosi said. “I know there is a temptation on the part of some to speak out while they are there, I respect that. But, I also worry about what the Chinese government might do to their reputations, to their families.”
Bloomberg News reported:
The commission’s hearing on the eve of opening ceremonies for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing was organized as a platform for Pelosi and several activists to highlight China’s human rights record, including reports of forced labor and acts of genocide against the Uyghur ethnic community in the Xinjiang region as well as suppression of democratic protests in Hong Kong and religious repression of Tibet’s Buddhists.
As noted by The Daily Wire, Pelosi was widely condemned and criticized on social media for her comments:
Rep. August Pfluger (R-TX): “Brave Americans should be supported—not silenced—in standing up to communist China. The Olympics should never have been held in a country committing active genocide in the first place.”
Stephen L. Miller, political commentator: “She’s a national embarrassment.”
House Energy & Commerce Committee Republicans: “Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats have shown us time and time again they are not willing to be tough on China. This just the latest proof. China must be held accountable for its human rights abuses.”
Matt Whitaker, former Acting U.S. Attorney General: “Imagine Washington, Madison, Lincoln or Jefferson saying this. They would not have, of course. We must always speak out against evil.”
Richard Grenell, former Acting Director of National Intelligence: “Good God above, Nancy! Why are you backing down from Chinese threats? They see you. You just encouraged them…they’ve scared you into submission. This is so outrageous.”
Ben Shapiro, The Daily Wire: “This is the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the third in line to the presidency, telling American athletes to shut up and dribble in China…after kneeling in the Capitol dome herself to protest supposed systemic American racism.”
Sean Spicer, former White House spokesman: “The leader of the Democrats in House tells US athletes NOT to speak out about Communist China and it’s human rights abuses – this is sad and pathetic.”
Rep. Carlos A. Gimenez (R-FL): “The U.S. should be BACKING UP athletes using their freedom of self-expression to expose the Beijing communists for the murderers they are, NOT telling them to hide. Americans down cower to communists. We defeat them.”
Nile Gardiner, former aide to Margaret Thatcher: “This is a disgrace. The United States is the world’s superpower. It should never kowtow to the Chinese Communist Party.”
Rebeccah Heinrichs, Hudson Institute: “Pelosi is telling American Olympic athletes not to say anything the Chinese Communists doesn’t want them to. This is a statement on how foolish it is to have the Olympics there and how weak our leaders are.”
Rep. Kevin Hern (R-OK): “Americans fight for freedom and defend the voiceless – if our athletes can’t display those American values while representing @TeamUSA in the Olympics, why are we there at all?”
Rep. Michelle Steel (R-CA): “This is despicable. We cannot allow the #CCP to walk all over us. It is unacceptable that we’ve put our athletes in this position.”
Rep. Scott Austin (R-GA): “Outrageous that the Speaker finds it necessary to ask American athletes not to acknowledge the CCP’s mass genocide of the Uyghur Muslims and their use of slave labor.”