Should we boycott Russian Vodka? Should we move the Olympics like Stephen Fry has suggested? But if we do this will it harden the Russian Attitude and make them the victims? Well in their media anyway.
But of course the International Olympic Committee has been here before. Beijing.
Those planning to protest should remember that the IOC took no heed of those protests despite China’s trampling on Human Rights, so why would the IOC treat Russia any differently?
Its a catch-22 for those who want to protest. The IOC have said it will enforce rule 50 of the IOC Charter on athletes and officials. Rule 50 states
‘No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas.’
The Russians too have said they will enforce the law during Sochi 2014 meaning athletes, officials and spectators face 15 days in jail followed by deportation if suspected of Gay Propaganda.
How do you fight this? Go for the sponsors? Sign Petitions?
You can’t move it. No where else is geared up for this.
A boycott is unfeasible as it puts a break on an athletes career. These are only every 4 years.
There are no good options on this.
The only option is, as The National Post points out for Gay Athletes attending Sochi 2014,
Go, be out, be yourself. If you’re not out, be supportive. Be proud. Inspire the people watching. We don’t know if someone will offer an act of bravery on a podium, or elsewhere. But someone should have the chance, because that, more than anything, should be what the world will remember.
Between that and protests around the world like this one in Sweden outside the Russian Embassy,
Amsterdam’s “Welcome” to President Putin
and other such as Irish Youth Groups coming together to protest against this, then we may start to make the Russian realise they are on the wrong side of this.
We can only hope they find this out before Sochi gets underway.
- Olympic Committee Could Punish Athletes For Speaking Out Against Russian Anti-Gay Law (thinkprogress.org)
- Senior IOC member raises specter of taking Winter Olympics away from Russia (americablog.com)
- Entertainment world leads outcry against Russia (thenewstribune.com)
- Sticking it to Sochi: Russian LGBT Activists on Making a Difference (prospect.org)
- Russia Confirms Anti-Gay Laws Will Be Enforced At Sochi As IOC Seeks Special Suspension Of Those Laws For The Olympics (towleroad.com)
- Olympics Committee member: ‘Russia must respect the Olympic Charter, or we will say goodbye to them’ (pinknews.co.uk)