The jurassic folks running things at the IOC have made it abundantly clear that they won’t be taking any extra precautions to ensure the safety of LGBT athletes at the Olympic Games in Sochi next year.
After the Committee lied and asked for clarification of Russia’s “gay propaganda” laws, Russian officials have said they will fully enforce the laws as they apply to both athletes and tourists. IOC President Jacques Rogge responded by essentially throwing his hands in the air and shrugging it off.
That sentiment was echoed by US Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun this week, who told Russian news outlet Ria Novosti that he urges “athletes [to] comply with the laws of every nation we visit.”
Blackmun says he’s read Russia’s “gay propaganda” law, and thinks it’s “not workable” for Olympic committees from around the globe—under the IOC—to discuss them or lobby the IOC for change. “Our job, first and foremost, is to make sure that our athletes are prepared to compete and aren’t distracted while they’re here.”
“We’re a sports organization,” he continued, “and we’ll leave the diplomacy on the legal issues to the diplomats, and we’re not going to get involved.”
Furthermore, he admitted there is no plan in place to combat the arrest of an LGBT athlete. When Ria Novosti suggested Blackmun may have to “get involved if an athlete decides to make a protest,” this was his response:
“You can’t judge in advance what you’re going to do. Each Games is different. The athletes are always going into countries with laws different than his or her own country. They’re going to agree with those laws in some ways, they’re going to disagree with those laws in other ways. It’s our strong desire that our athletes comply with the laws of every nation that we visit. This law is no different.”