Out former NBA player John Amaechi is in Beijing blogging about what he sees there and doing basketball commentary for the BBC. An outspoken advocate for human rights, Amaechi offered support for athletes who used their Olympic platform to make political statements. He shared his thoughts on the topic with the BBC.
"In everyday context they are good enough to tell us what cereals to eat, what shoes to wear, about anti-obesity or whatever, but when it comes to a fundamental tenet of human rights, somehow they are not good enough. If we want them to be holistic role models, then let's let them be holistic role models."
Amaechi offers a slew of thoughts on the topic, and it's well worth a quick read to see them; he really is an incredibly intelligent, well-spoken man.
According to the article, Rule 51 of the Olympic Charter allows athletes to voice their opinions, but they cannot participate in demonstrations; They risk being disqualified if they do.