The backlash against the refusal of the International Olympic Committee to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the 1972 terrorist attacks in Munich has picked up a few key supporters six days before the London Games are set to begin.
Bob Costas, NBC's lead Olympics anchor, said he'll publicly call out the IOC for refusing to honor the 40th anniversary of the massacre of the Israeli athlete-hostages at the Munich Games and added that— if the IOC fails to allow a moment of silence during the opening ceremonies— he'll hold one himself on NBC's telecast as the Israeli athletes enter the arena.
"I intend to note that the IOC denied the request," said Costas. "Many people find that denial more than puzzling, but insensitive, [so] here's a minute of silence right now."
It's a classy move on the most visible platform in sports broadcasting and— with the slayings at Aurora, Colo. weighing heavy on America's hearts— it is a gutsy statement about guns, violence and terrorism worldwide.
After Costas made his announcement, the White House joined in, saying, "We absolutely support the campaign."
Eleven athletes and coaches were slain in a botched German attempt to rescue the victims after being held as hostage by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Olympics.
Ankie Rekhess-Spitzer, widow of the slain fencing coach, has been trying in vain to seek an official commemoration of the tragedy.
She said the IOC called such a gesture "political" and "told us the Arab delegations would get up and leave. To which I said, 'It's OK; if they don't understand what the Olympics are all about, we'll let them leave.'"
It's a simple gesture by Costas but could be far-reaching. For Rekhess-Spitzer, it will be small consolation to the IOC's lack of compassion, but could be the start of something a long time coming.