Sochi, we have a problem. The United States Olympic Committee, seemingly backtracking on an earlier statement – and now outright contradicting the International Olympic Committee – says Russia’s draconian new anti-gay law is “inconsistent w[ith] fundamental Olympic principles.”
The new statement from the USOC was first reported by Chris Geidner at Buzzfeed.
The USOC’s new statement would seem to contradict an earlier statement from USOC CEO Scott Blackmun, who this week told US athletes to obey Russia’s anti-gay law, or else.
It also raises the question as to why Russia is not now being kicked out of the Olympics for violating the Olympic principles.
The IOC said something similar this week, but went a step further, saying that the spreading of gay “propaganda” at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia would be reason to ban an athlete from the games, as such gay “propaganda” would violate the Olympic charter.
But here’s the problem…
1. The USOC head says Russia’s anti-gay is clearly “inconsistent with fundamental Olympic principles,” but they want US athletes to obey it anyway. Or maybe not…
2. At the same time, the USOC head also said this week that: “[R]estricting the right to act and speak in support of the LGBT community are inconsistent with the fundamental principles of the Olympic and Paralympic movements.” But that’s exactly what the USOC is doing by telling athletes to obey Russia’s anti-gay law, not to act or speak in support of the LGBT community…
3. And according to the IOC, if gay or pro-gay athletes do speak in support of the LGBT community while at Sochi, they’ll be kicked out of the Olympics all together, since the athletes’ actions will be deemed inconsistent with Olympic principles.
4. So why isn’t the IOC now throwing Russia out of the Olympic games all together, since the USOC has confirmed that Russia’s law – which the Russian Interior Ministry said this week will apply to Olympic athletes, visitors and media during the Sochi games – is inconsistent with Olympic principles?
Or is it only okay to violate Olympic principles if you’re anti-gay?