Should a criminal conviction stop someone representing the country?

Should someone with significant criminal convictions be allowed to represent their country in sport?

This has become a topic of discussion over the last few weeks due to the selection of this chap

I am very open minded. I believe in rehabilitation rather then ongoing societal punishment. This has me dithering though.

Not wanting to discuss this particular case, should convicted criminals be alllowed to represent their country.

My mind tells me that if someone served their time and then became so devoted to their sport that they are selected to represent their country that it is a good thing and they have changed their life for the better, theirs and everyone elses(not so convinced that boxing should be the sport of choice for people involved in violent crime).

A more cynical part of me says “NOOOOO…I don’t want you representing us”

I have flip flopped between the two opinions several times in the last week.

How would I feel if he won and the world press exposed his history. Does it say something bad or good about my country that we sent him?

Should feel proud to have someone who has turned their life around representing my country or should I feel ashamed that a criminal may stand under my flag and my anthem?

Should we let people make the very most out of their lives once they have served their time or should we let them get on with it but not not them represent us?

Both the President and the Vice President of the United States have been convicted of crimes.

I think it should be on a case by case basis. I’d have a hard time cheering for someone convicted of the manslaughter of his own daughter. A conviction for “Fishing without a license” or some minor charge shouldn’t be relevant to an althlete’s ability to represent their country.

There’s no reason why, if an athlete qualifies for the Olympics or any other sporting event, that past criminal convictions should prevent him or her from competing or representing a nation.

What’s the danger in having this man represent his country? Will there be a wave of young admirers across NZ going out and committing manslaughter in emulation of their new Olympic hero?

Well that has been my stance (mostly) and I believe were he a runner, swimmer, shot putter etc I wouldn’t have questioned it. Thats what make me feel bad. His sport of choice does not seem to be an escape from his crime.

I’m a loyal Kiwi, do I want him to win gold? Yes. Do I want him to represent NZ? hmmm not so sure.

I don’t feel good about that though.

I don’t follow boxing (or, really, any sport) but isn’t part of the reason people are trained to fight is to learn how to channel aggression into “appropriate” expression, namely inside the ring? Seems like, with him being out of trouble for four years, he’s learned that lesson.

I don’t think you get to have both at once.

That is exactly why I came here Otto I honestly believe the guy has worked hard…it is not a cake walk to get an Olympic selection. I believe he should be allowed to go.

It has become a topic of debate here though. It seems many Kiwis would feel shame if he won gold, shame he was selected.

I think I would feel pride that came from somewhere that allowed this bloke to have a fresh start…but I flip flop.

I never said I was judgement free.

No doubt he’s worked hard, but…jeez:

This guy was a habitual offender. In many parts of the U.S., he’d be in for 25-to-life. I’d need to see better evidence than “well, he’s disciplined, see – he’s a boxer” to be convinced that the past four years aren’t just a fluke. Hell, maybe nobody’s gotten close enough to piss him off since then?

I wouldn’t restict a person based on a criminal conviction unrelated to performance.

I don’t think boxing should be an Olympic sport or a publicly funded sport, for beating the shit out of someone is truly obscene.

I’m not so much a boxing fan as I once was, but I know that many boxers have had a history of crime before they became boxers. Some of them also had crimes after they switched career paths. In order to want to make a living by getting your brain-pan rattled, you have to start with a dead-end situation. Most are poor, badly educated, or in big trouble.

Hmmm. Should they be banned for …

Misdemeanors? No.
Regular felonies? Maybe, depending.
Violent felonies? Yes.

This kiwi guy killed his 5 month old baby, so I’m not feeling too sorry for him. Time served or not, sometimes there are consequences you’ve gotta face your whole life. Didn’t want to be blocked from the Olympics? Shoulda thought about that before he killed his own child.

Try to be fair. I see no mention in the linked article of how that child died and he was convicted of manslaughter, not murder. If you can provide me with a link that explains how that little girl died at the hands of her murderous, horrible, beast of a father, I’ll lay off. But until then, it was a terrible accident for all I know.

And you’re right, sometimes there really are consequences you just have to live with, time served or not. How about living the rest of your life grieving for your daughter, knowing damn well that you played at least a small role in her death? I guess that guilt on top of the fact that he served the time deemed appropriate by the law for his crime just isn’t enough though, huh? Now he gets to get shit on when he tries to do something worthwhile?

I see no problem with it (as if I needed to tell anyone that). He was charged and convicted of a crime. He served his sentence. A bit later, he was charged and convicted of other crimes. I’ll assume he served time for those as well. If the law in this jurisdiction allowed for his release, and the Olympics committee has no objections, I don’t either.

Honestly, I’d worry more about New Zealand’s policy wrt repeat offenders in general than I would about whether this guy gets to compete or not. That might just be me though.