I dislike the word "controversy". While it doesn't necessarily imply an equal footing of two conflicting viewpoints, it's often used as a way for a ridiculous idea to get it's foot in the door (or to keep it wedged there indefinitely). There is, of course creationists pushing the whole "teach the controversy" angle when trying to get religious ideas taught in public science classrooms. That's it's own mammoth topic. But, right now I'm more referring to the media referring to the "Sochi Controversy" leading up to the Olympics. Sorry, human rights are controversial? It doesn't matter if Vladimir Putin or 1 in every 100 american citizen thinks that gay people should be jailed. While accurate in in a very literal definition of the term, throwing the word "controversy" into a sentence like that makes an implication there's still a discussion to be had on the matter.
Having said that, do I think the US should have boycotted the Olympics to send a message? No. I think Obama sent a pretty decent message when he sent 2 openly gay athletes to represent the US in the opening and closing ceremonies. To me, the Olympics should be about setting aside differences in politics in the spirit of friendly competition (that's the idea anyway). When it's executed properly, it's one of the only things the global community gets right. Yes there's bullshit, and corruption, and accusations of favoritism among judges and the occasional Nancy Karrigan gets attacked by the crazed ex-husband of a competing skater. But when it works, and everyone's playing nice, we can stand up and proudly say "You put all of us maniacs in the same city for entire month and we sort of managed not to kill each other"