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Russian LGBT Group: “Don’t Boycott The Olympics – Boycott Homophobia”

Carlos-Smith

We believe that calls for the spectators to boycott Sochi, for the Olympians to retreat from competition, and for governments, companies, and national Olympic committees to withdraw from the event risk to transform the powerful potential of the Games in a less powerful gesture that would prevent the rest of the world from joining LGBT people, their families and allies in Russia in solidarity and taking a firm stance against the disgraceful human rights record in this country.

In retrospect, the record of the Olympic boycotts is not utterly promising in regards the potential to bring a change; look at the 1980 boycott of the Moscow Olympics, the 1984 ‘retaliation’ boycott of the LA Games, or at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. What is remembered from 1968 is neither the number nor the names of those who boycotted the Games, but the ‘human rights salute’ by Tommie Smith and John Carlos who rose black-gloved fists and bowed their heads on the victory stand as a sign of resistance to racial injustice and solidarity with everyone who fought for equality and human rights.

[…]

We call for organizations and individuals who are attending the Games to exercise freedom of expression and freedom of assembly and to not fall accomplices to the homophobic policies by censoring own beliefs, statements, and identities….The Olympics in Sochi should embody the ideals and values of the Games and should demonstrate to everyone who is watching that the greatest athletes stand strong with their LGBT competitors and partners, out or closeted, and that together they stand strong with LGBT people and allies everywhere.

Do not boycott the Olympics – boycott homophobia! Stand in solidarity with people in Russia and bring LGBT pride and values of human rights and freedoms to the Games in Sochi!”

The Russian LGBT Network addressing a potential boycott of the 2014 Olympics in Sochi via a statement on their Facebook page.

By:           Les Fabian Brathwaite
On:           Jul 31, 2013
Tagged: , , , , ,
  • 6 Comments
    • Shadeaux
      Shadeaux

      Fuck Russia. We can boycott the Olympics and Homophobia from home while spending our own dollars in our own “homophobic” country.

      Jul 31, 2013 at 9:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      So are they saying that we should Eat at Chick Fil Et but don’t eat homophobia?

      Jul 31, 2013 at 12:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RomanHans
      RomanHans

      This is oddly ridiculous. When Mr. Smith and Mr. Carlos took part in the Olympics, it wasn’t illegal to be black. And I’m pretttty sure if we get the entire Olympics shut down because it’s illegal to be gay in Russia it’ll make more of a statement against homophobia than raising supportive fists on a podium.

      Jul 31, 2013 at 12:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rock2XL
      Rock2XL

      @RomanHans: What is “oddly ridiculous” is to think that we can shut down the Olympics! Do we really want to do that anyway? The percentage of LGB persons among athletes is surely higher than in the general population. Let’s not forget that the Olympics began in a culture that treated gays and straights equally! And who wants to give up all of that eye candy on TV?
      Boycott Russian products! I’ve heard the focus is on Russian Vodka. Protest outside of Russian embassies around the world and at the Olympics itself! That will certainly draw attention to the plight of our gay brothers and sisters in Russia!

      Jul 31, 2013 at 2:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Guilherme
      Guilherme

      @Cam: I think so, that’s what it sounds like to me.

      Anyway, it’s hopeless, a boycott is not going to work, not that I think we shouldn’t boycott Russia, but most people just don’t care so it’s not going to happen, hell do straight people even know about the anti-gay laws in Russia?

      Jul 31, 2013 at 2:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RomanHans
      RomanHans

      @Rock2XL: Okay, so you say a lot of gay athletes will go to the Russian Olympics. You really think so, considering they could be arrested — and put in a Russian jail — for saying, “I’m gay and proud”?

      And I don’t think it’s “oddly ridiculous” to think we can shut down the Olympics. Any athlete with a smidgen of integrity would refuse to compete if gay athletes can’t participate for fear of arrest.

      Aug 1, 2013 at 12:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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