Olympics

Boston City Employees Banned From Criticizing Olympics

Boston hasn't even been awarded the 2024 Olympics yet, and many of its citizens are already having their civil liberties violated.

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Boston/flickr

Boston hasn't even been awarded the 2024 Olympics yet, and many of its citizens are already having their civil liberties violated.

Documents obtained through a public rerecords request by MassLive show that Boston mayor Mayor Martin J. Walsh signed an agreement with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) that prevents city employees from publicly saying anything negative about the Olympics, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), or the USOC. On top of that, employees are also required to actively promote the games.

Here is the exact passage in question:

The City, including its employees, officers and representatives, shall not make, publish or communicate to any Person, or communicate in any public forum, any comments or statements (written or oral) that reflect unfavorably upon, denigrate or disparage, or are detrimental to the reputation or statute of, the IOC, the IPC, the USOC, the IOC Bid, the Bid Committee or the Olympic or Paralympic movement. The City, including its employees, officers and representatives, shall each promote the Bid Committee, the USOC, the IOC Bid, U.S. Olympics and Paralympics athletes and hopefuls and the Olympic and Paralympic movement in a positive manner.

Walsh administration Communications Director Laura Oggeri later walked back the report, saying the mayor has no intention of suppressing the speech of city employees, and claiming that such verbiage is merely standard procedure in the USOC agreement that bid cities are forced to sign.

It looks, then, as though Boston citizens can continue to freely go about being extremely lukewarm about the prospect of potentially handing over billions of taxpayer dollars to a multibillion-dollar sports organization.