Last night our own Tonya Garcia reported on some Olympics-sized jitters over at NBC. Seems the official home of the 2014 Sochi Winter Games is a little wary of host country Russia’s decision to pass some of the world’s most archaically homophobic laws, which promise to arrest anyone who dares discuss “non-traditional sexual relationships” with minors or even bothers to act “openly gay” at the games. Yes, that means athletes too…
NBC spokespeople claim that no advertisers currently plan to boycott the games due to this unfortunate development, but the story doesn’t end there.
You’d think the International Olympic Committee’s thinking would be more in line with the 21st Century; we’re sad to say that’s not the case.
An IOC spokesperson told Gay Star News that the Games are “not the place for ‘political’ statements”, noting that its own charter prohibits “propaganda” like the rainbow pins some athletes want to wear in solidarity with the LGBT community. Oh, and the spokesperson also states that the IOC will “treat each case individually” and apply related prohibitions “when necessary.”
This is another way of saying “fold those freak flags and put them back in the closet, please.”
We get that the IOC wants to avoid any potential scandal, and the organization still officially supports the rights of gay athletes to compete. But that fact doesn’t make this stance any less disappointing. For now, it looks like athletes and activists will have to show their support in more subtle (and not so subtle) ways.
A note to Vladimir Putin: we all know you’re not gay. Only a straight man would go on shirtless fishing and horseback riding excursions right after divorcing his wife of nearly 30 years. And only the world’s biggest hetero would encourage all his bros to get busy to the smooth, soulful sounds of Boyz II Men…