For my white paper, I will focus on the societal and economic impact of mega sporting events like the Olympics and the World Cup. Events on such a grand scale affect millions of people and have the potential to either benefit or harm the nation that hosts them. I will argue that the large international organizations that orchestrate mega sporting events–mainly the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)–have a responsibility to conduct extensive research on their impact and accordingly enact policies that overall benefit host nations.
The society source that I found is from the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB), who conducted a report about the human rights considerations that result from mega sporting events. The report includes a comprehensive summary of the origins of mega sporting events, the process for organizing them and the resulting economic and social impacts. Most notably, the IHRB points out the strong potential for human rights violations at mega sporting events, citing Hitler’s attempted Nazi propaganda agenda in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, the Munich Massacre of 1972 and political “disappearances” leading up to the 1978 Argentina World Cup. Yet, on the other hand, mega sporting events are also opportunities for social progress such as Tommy Smith and John Carlos’ gesture against racial segregation in the 1968 Mexico Olympics.
The IHRB charges local organizations, event corporate sponsors and sports governing bodies with ensuring positive social progress during mega sporting events. In order to do so, the IHRB recommends that these groups consider the UN’s Guiding Principles on Human Rights and Business, which are summarized in the graphic below.
The report goes on to evaluate how each group has lived up to these idealistic standards. Below is an example of how the corporate sponsors measure up.
In summary, the IHRB focuses heavily on suggesting humanitarian standards for all of the major players in mega sporting events, especially sports governing bodies. Although the IOC and FIFA have stated in official documents that they are committed to social development, they still have a long way to go.
I find this source to be credible. The IHRB’s research is unbiased and aims to make sure organizations worldwide adopt best practices to make their impacts as positive as possible.