NBC’s Bob Costas says he will use the Opening Ceremonies of the London Olympics to “call out” the International Olympic Committee for its refusal to declare a moment of silence to honor Israeli athletes who were murdered at the Munich games 40 years ago.
Costas, who will be the lead announcer for the London Games, told the Hollywood Reporter that the IOC’s refusal to honor a request by Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon is “baffling” and he intends to take a stand during the Opening Ceremonies on July 27.
“I intend to note that the IOC denied the request. Many people find that denial more than puzzling but insensitive. Here’s a minute of silence right now.”
In denying the request, IOC President Jacques Rogge said the Olympic committee has honored the Munich victims on several occasions in the past but would not do so in London.
The widow of one of the Munich victims told USA Today that the decision was more than baffling.
“I have to call the baby by its name,” said Ankie Spitzer, whose husband coached the Israeli fencing team. “The IOC’s refusal is pure discrimination. … greed and anti-Semitism.”
On Sept. 4, 1972, the Black September terrorist group, demanding the release of Palestinians from Israeli jails, kidnapped 11 members of the Israeli Olympic team, killing two of them in the process. The nine others were killed by the kidnappers during a rescue attempt by German troops.