Boston Athletic Association: Bar Russian and Belarusian athletes from competition


Boston Athletic Association: Bar Russian and Belarusian athletes from competition

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Why this petition matters

Started by Maksim Sigal

To the leadership and board of the Boston Athletic Association,


                We know, like many others around Boston and the world, for over a month you have been following the truly horrific and devastatingly tragic events unfolding in Ukraine as the result of Russia’s unprovoked invasion. You have taken initial action to offer refunds and deferral for all Ukrainian athletes for this year’s Boston Athletic Association (BAA) events (1). We view this as simply a moral obligation, as many in Ukraine are unable to leave the country due to the proclamation martial law and the restriction of adult men from leaving the country (2) among many factors contributing to the impossibility of Ukrainians being able to participate in BAA events this year.


Many international sporting bodies have made decisions to bar Russian and Belarusian participation in their events (3). The International Paralympic Committee made this decision one day before the first events in this year’s games. If they can do it, what is stopping the BAA from taking the same stance in showing their support for Ukraine and Ukrainian-Americans?


What images and stories does the BAA need to hear to understand the level of atrocities being committed against Ukraine on a daily basis to take action? Is it the total devastation of Mariupol (4), where the bombing of a maternity hospital (5), theater (sheltering thousands of civilians, many children)(6), and hundreds of residential buildings were laid to rubble. Maybe it is the countless times humanitarian corridors were impeded by the Russian army (7), killing innocent families fleeing for their lives and burning their bodies or covering them with live mines (8)? Not only do they block humanitarian aid from reaching children dying of thirst and hunger, they steal it and take it for themselves (9). This is only a glimpse into the life that ordinary Ukrainians are currently living.


By taking no further actions, the BAA is implicitly normalizing these diabolical acts. The banning of Russian and Belarusian athletes from competition is not meant to be seen as a punishment against them. This petition should be seen as a means to support Ukraine! Russian and Belarusian athletes can join us in solidarity by not participating in this year’s events, for what pride would they have in representing their countries when their armed forces are causing these horrors?


We are asking the BAA to be BOSTON STRONG! Be a leader! Take action! Do not normalize this violence and hate!


Слава Украïнi!


Thank you,

Maksim Sigal, The Ukrainian Running Club – New York, and our supporters














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