Today’s Boston Marathon will not include runners from Russia or Belarus after marathon organizers decided they couldn’t allow runners associated with those countries to compete as Vladimir Putin’s war rages on in Ukraine.
“Like so many around the world, we are horrified and outraged by what we have seen and learned from the reporting in Ukraine,” Tom Grilk, chief of the Boston Athletic Association, which organizes the marathon, said in early April. “We believe that running is a global sport, and as such, we must do what we can to show our support to the people of Ukraine.”
However, Russians or Belarusian runners who don’t live in those countries will be allowed to participate in today’s race. Got it?
“The B.A.A., its races, and events will not recognize the country affiliation or flag of Russia or Belarus until further notice. The 2022 Boston Marathon, B.A.A. 5K, and B.A.A. Invitational Mile do not include any professional or invited athletes from Russia or Belarus,” Grilk continued.
Race organizers also noted that they would make “reasonable attempts” to pay back those athletes who were affected by this decision, but that would also depend on sanctions placed on Russia.
— Boston Marathon (@bostonmarathon) April 18, 2022
Putin is clearly shaking in his boots thinking about his runners, which numbered just 56 out of 30,000 in 2019, not being able to run around Boston. As for Belarus, that country sent just three participants(!) in 2019.
Grilk and his crew are horrified by what they see going on in Ukraine, but in a wild twist, they don’t seem to be horrified by what continues to take place in China where sanctions by the U.S. State Department have been levied – again – on officials over a U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s report of the Chinese putting the Uyghurs through forced sterilization, torture and enslavement to name a few of the abuses still going on.
Yet one of today’s race sponsors is Wanda Group, which is said to have close ties to the Chinese Communist Party. Wanda Group isn’t just some minor sponsor. It is right there on the Marathon’s sponsor website with Amazon, Citgo, jetBlue and more.
But those pesky 50 or so Russian runners and their three-pack of Belarusian runners can’t do a 26.2 mile race through Boston.
Tom Grilk is such a woke warrior that in 2021 he held a rally against Asian hate and then didn’t ban Chinese runners as their leaders continue a genocide against the Uyghurs. So bold, Tom.
Way to stand up to Putin, you phony.
Pleased to join Asian American runners at the Boston Marathon starting line for a rally and run against Asian hate and for human respect among all people—wearing a shirt from 2019 Lanzhou, China International Marathon, where goodwill and respect for all predominated. pic.twitter.com/J80WzS2w5d
— Tom Grilk (@TomGrilk) March 27, 2021