Coca-Cola Is Cool With Russia’s Anti-Gay Laws, Condones The Arrest Of Man With Rainbow Flag

police-try-to-take-rainbow-flag-cokeBe nice to our partners!, says Coca-Cola. We paid a lot of money for that product placement!

The soda conglomerate, which is serving as one of the official sponsors of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia next month, has released a statement regarding the arrest and fining of LGBT activist Pavel Lebedev, who stepped into the road and unfurled a rainbow flag during the Torch Relay in the town of Voronezh earlier this week.

A video of the incident shows security guards sporting the Coca-Cola logo tackling Lebedev and attempting to rip the flag from his hands.

Although Coca-Cola “values and celebrates diversity” and “does not condone human rights abuses,” they’re totally cool with Russian police abusing human rights in this instance. After all, they paid hundreds of millions of dollars to slap their logos on the homophobic Russian police.

In a statement released yesterday, Coke says:

As a Presenting Partner of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay, our logo appears on all of the uniforms for the staff assigned by the Sochi Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG) to support the Torch Relay.

SOCOG reported that a spectator was prevented from breaching the security perimeter around the Torchbearer. The spectator was detained briefly by local police and was fined.

Sure, it’s important to note that Lebedev stepped out onto the road, breaching some kind of safety barrier and therefore attracting the attention of police, but that was not the reason he was detained and fined.

AmericaBlog knows what’s up:

What transpires in the video is that the Russian police officer initially isn’t aware of what the rainbow flag even is.  Some in the surrounding crowd of spectators are well aware, and goad the police officer to ask Pavel what kind of flag it is.  So the cop does.  Pavel refuses to answer.  In the meantime, at least one spectator tells the officer that the flag is “propaganda,” using that codeword for illegal political activity.

Pavel repeatedly asks the officer for the reason for his detention, and the officer refuses to say, finally stating that Pavel will be taken away to the station for questioning to “clarify the circumstances.”  Pavel was not taken away for trespassing on the parade route, or he would have been told that, Russian LGBT sources tell me. He was taken away for his political speech.

Ah, the sweet, sweet taste of homophobia. Proudly brought to you by Coca-Cola.

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  • Cam

    Time to buy a soda stream.

  • AuntieChrist

    Why anyone even drinks that crap is beyond me. There are so many other wonderful things to drink..I would make a list but unless you are developmentally disabled you already know that…These draconian laws and jackbooted tactics need to stop.

  • SpunkyBunks

    Coke products are nothing but chemical poisoning, disgusting. It’s easy to ditch them. I did and haven’t looked back. My brother, a car mechanic, used to use Coca-Cola to remove rust and battery acid off of car batteries. Imagine what it does to your insides.

    Drink good ol’ H2O and tea instead!

  • Louis

    Disgusting drink and not surprising coming from Coke I don’t believe they have ever been a gay friendly corporation.

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  • KDub

    Reality check: Coca-Cola owns like a million brands (bottled water and tea included). To really boycott this company, you’d have to ban more than just the soda. So I give this little ban 2 weeks for the extra militant and 2 days for regular gays. Remember how you guys couldn’t even organize a Barilla ban? lol

  • Tedy

    Can’t miss the main point: the LGBT are suffering in Russia. So sad that so many in the family are under such oppression around the world. And corporations like Coke are putting a spin on it. Bottom line: Sacrifice is ok as long as it doesn’t affect profits or ask for personal sacrifice.

  • newecreator

    I think this could be the 2nd reason I would not drink Coka-Cola products.

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  • AuntieChrist

    @KDub: I simply adore how no matter what the issue you are always a giant tool…It must really be sad to live in your negative judgmental head…So is it LIKE a million or just a million..? FACT…ONLY READY TO DRINK PRODUCTS are jointly owned by coca cola and nestle…So go ahead girls and drink all the water and tea that you want.

  • litper

    @KDub: we forced Barilla to apologize, but Coke is really defiant. They must be stripped of all their high equality indexes and treated same as Ex(-gay)xon Mobil

  • Stache1

    @AuntieChrist: Well, I’d boycott Coca Cola but seems I’m already doing it. Thanks.

  • Stache1

    @Tedy: Reminds me of when George Bush was asked what personal sacrifices Americans should do to help with the war on terror. Go back to the malls and don’t let this stop you from buying stuff. Yup. That’s the world we live in.

  • KDub

    @AuntieChrist: Well looking at your comment, I’m certainly not the only negative judgmental one here lol. *Sips rum-n-Coke* :)

Comments are closed.