Press Releases

Webster CoSponsors Bill to Protect Olympic Athletes

Washington, DC – Florida Congressman Daniel Webster (R-Clermont) joined Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) in introducing the GENOCIDE GAMES Act, which would impose Global Magnitsky sanctions on IOC officials if athletes, fans, or other participants at the 2022 Winter Olympics are detained, disappeared, or otherwise deprived of their freedom of speech or other internationally recognized human rights by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

IOC and officials, including Speaker Pelosi, have actively discouraged athletes from speaking out about CCP human rights violations throughout the games, this bill uses the leverage of powerful sanctions to ensure the IOC pays a steep price if they fail to protect any participant in the Olympic games.

“Speaker Pelosi’s warning to U.S. athletes to stay silent to avoid the wrath of the Chinese government ‘because they are ruthless’ is an embarrassing abdication of leadership,” said Rep. Webster. “Any attempt by the Chinese government to stifle free speech or intimidate our athletes should be addressed and condemned by U.S. leaders, regardless of party. Instead of discouraging athletes from vocally defending human rights, Speaker Pelosi should bring this bill up for a vote to send a clear message to the CCP and hold the IOC accountable.”

Ahead of the games, Rep. Webster called on the International Olympic Committee to remove the Olympics from Beijing, cosponsored legislation in favor of boycotting the games and wrote President Biden requesting information on steps being taken to protect U.S. athletes.

The legislation was also co-sponsored by: Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL), Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO), Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX), Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL), Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH), Rep. John Rutherford (R-FL), Rep. Randy Feenstra (R-IA), Rep. Jake LaTurner (R-KS), Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL), Rep. David McKinley (R-WV), Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH), Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN), and Rep. Michelle Steele (R-CA).

Click HERE for bill text.