Another out-of-control news day over Russian’s anti-gay laws and the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
The international news is especially heartening. This topic is gaining significant additional steam internationally.
FIFA head still waiting to hear from the Russians about the 2018 World Cup:
FIFA legal statutes state that discrimination is “punishable by suspension or expulsion” for individuals in football or member federations.
“When you speak with the Russians, they don’t speak about discrimination, they speak about protection (of minors). That is different. I said, ‘So please give me the evidence that you are protecting somebody and not discriminating,'” Blatter told the AP on the sidelines of his annual charity soccer tournament in his family’s home village.
Blatter intends to table the issue at an Oct. 3-4 meeting of the 27-member FIFA executive committee, which includes Russia’s sports minister, Vitaly Mutko.
Russia’s new law equates expressions of support for gay rights with “propaganda.” Russian officials have emphasized that the law does not prosecute people for being gay. Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak wrote to the IOC last week, saying it “cannot be regarded as discrimination based on sexual orientation.” This is doublespeak. The law is clearly discriminatory, restricts free expression, and only serves to legitimize a well-documented culture of intolerance against gay people in Russia. Besides all that, it is still unclear whether athletes or spectators who attend will be punished for protesting….
The IOC has traditionally stayed away from politics. But it cannot pretend to stand apart from the event it orchestrates. The choice of host country impacts billions of dollars of infrastructure investment, and billions more in sponsorship and marketing revenues. Allowing Russia to bask in the glory of an Olympic Games – and to use the event to advertise the country, as all hosts do – while flouting many of the ideals the movement stands for is perverse.
Canadian Olympians, in contrast to weak-kneed American Olympians who have been told to shut up by the US Olympic Committee, speak out against Russian threats against Olympic athletes.
North Carolina town considers cutting ties with Russian city.