GAMES PEOPLE PLAY

Olympic Official Says U.S. Delegation is Too Gay

1988 Seoul OlympicsWhoops, someone at the Olympics seems to have gone a little off-message this week.

“It’s absurd that a country like that sends four lesbians to Russia just to demonstrate that in their country gay rights have (been established),” Mario Pescante told a committee. “The games should not be an occasion and a stage to promote rights that sports supports daily.”

Later, he added, “I just wanted to make the point not to let politics interfere with the Olympics.”

This is a common refrain from Olympic apologists: the event should be about sports, sports, and sports, never about anything else.

This is, of course, a bizarre fantasy. The idea that they have somehow created an event that is immune to politics — well, no such event has ever existed and never will. Saying “it’s not political” doesn’t make it true.

Besides which, as “political” stunts go, arranging for three highly-qualified LGBT athletes to appear together in public is a pretty mild demonstration.

Pescante, by the way, has in the past arranged talks between Israeli and Palestinian Olympic officials. Nothing political about that.

 

H/t: HuffPo

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32 Comments

  • DShucking

    Let the self-righteous outrage begin…

  • hyhybt

    That perfect apoliticality is impossible does not make it an invalid goal, and the attempt to set aside politics is *supposed* to be the reason the Olympics exist at all.

    Having said that, there’s nothing wrong with sending the delegation chosen.

  • alterego1980

    The Olympics especially are inherently political by the way the sites/host countries are chosen. The selection committee is political, the governments of the host countries fight for them for political gain and so on right down the line. Every step in the process is political. Mr. Pescante (which pretty much means ‘fish dip’) is either naive, homophobic or both and I’m pretty sure of the latter. But that’s OK, the more people who stick their foot in their mouth on this is one more time everyone is reminded why we sent 4 homos in the first place. His ire should be at Russia, not the US. It’s a world stage for gay rights and human rights. I just hope those there will take the advantage!

  • Spike

    Hey what about England’s gay athletes, like Tom Daley?!!?

  • unbiasedparrot

    Boohoo Pescante. Suck it up!

  • robirob

    The Olympics are no longer about sport and fairness. It’s all about commercial sponsorship and endorsement deals. It’s about doping yourself to the max without getting caught not just to win but to become some highly paid spokesperson for some products.

  • NG22

    I’m so proud to be an American. So proud that we have a President who is actual standing up for our community’s rights when he didn’t have to. Particularly in an international context. There are many Republicans, some of whom want to be President, who think we shouldn’t tell other countries to bolster their gay rights. This administration has asserted that gay rights are human rights in a way no previous one ever has. Our community has many problems, our country has many problems, and our world has many problems. But this is a good thing: the fact that a European is complaining that the United States–the third most populous and most powerful country in the world–simply cares too much about supporting the global gay community. His outrage that we are too progressive, that we are using LGBT rights as a way to shame the Russian Federation for being too backward, provincial, and malicious… That outrage is everything. Because it means that our country has become a disruptive, controversial activist state.

  • NG22

    @NG22: *actually

  • jar

    @NG22: You must be young. Bill Clinton took much greater strides for our community, notwithstanding his DOMA cave. I am not a fan of the man, but your comment betrays a woeful lack of history. Let us not forget that the current president thought separate but equal was a-ok until it became apparent it would cause problems for his re-election.

  • Daniel-Reader

    I wonder if it was the official’s human rights being violated, if he’d be so dismissive about human rights.

  • AuntieChrist

    Honestly..!!! Nothing is too gay…Harvey Milk is our M.L.K. and until we have the same rights as the breeders I say MAKE EVERYTHING SUPER GAY..!!!

  • DShucking

    @AuntieChrist: When do we get our gay superhero?

  • AuntieChrist

    @DShucking: Though it had been all-but-revealed for some time now, DC today officially confirmed the identity of its latest gay superhero: Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern.

  • DShucking

    @AuntieChrist: Oh right. I have the issue where the superhero gets married. But I want one of the big one’s. Batman should definitely have been reintroduced as gay or at least bisexual because it would have fit right in with hos conflict, dark vs light, good vs evil, living in two different worlds, having to be in hiding, etc.

  • hyhybt

    @DShucking: it would have once. These days, no. A billionaire, especially, does not have to hide being gay.

  • DShucking

    @hyhybt: Not entirely true but yeah, basically true. But I was thinking this both when the Tim Burton reboot started and then again when the Nolan reboot started. Also, there’s no reason at this point for James Bond not to have an affair with a male enemy. We’re supposed to believe he would do all sorts of things including killing someone in order to save the world but he wouldn’t be willing to have sex with a guy? Puhlease.

  • Kangol

    @jar:

    No Clinton did not. And he signed off on DOMA, when he didn’t have to.

    He’s not a homophobe and he did appoint some major gay officials, but he didn’t go half as far as Obama. And I’ve lived through 9 US presidents (the first two were a bit hazy, though I remember Nixon’s resignation.)

  • DShucking

    @Kangol: If he hadn’t settled for the compromise of DOMA it would have been impossible for it to have been revisited in the future when a more progressive climate allowed for it to be.

  • Ridpathos

    Obama is still the best president for all he’s done for the LGBT community. I like that he realizes that human rights are far more important than trivial things that conservatives like to bring up when they say “ENOUGH OF THIS GAY STUFF. WE HAVE REAL PROBLEMS…” As if treating millions as second class citizens wasn’t a problem to them.

  • Bonny1986

    @Spike: Tom Daley is a diver and will not ho to the wintergame.

  • Cam

    The IOC has been hit by bribery scandal after bribery scandal. Don’t mess with the country that they’ve chosen, you’re messing with their wallets and all the money they have been bribed with.

    Remember, this groups FIRST reaction to the Russian backlash was to attack gays and say that ANY athleate who did something like hold their partners hand would be disqualified and sent home.

  • Ron Jackson

    To Mario Pescante: “BITE ME”.

  • freddiebaker

    my Aunty Brianna just got a new yellow Nissan Rogue SUV by working parttime from a home computer… visit the website http://gg.gg/zbin

  • iMort

    @jar: If Obama had followed all of your requirements he never would have been elected. I am impressed that he chose to push some buttons with this delegation!

  • scoobydube

    @DShucking: And don’t forget that Bruce Wayne, aka Batman, had a MALE ward, “Dick” Grayson, aka Robin ……….

  • RomanHans

    @DShucking: I’m go for intelligence but that hasn’t worked in the past. So how about this? SHUT UP, IDIOT.

  • DShucking

    @RomanHans: Make sense, dumb bitch.

  • Louis

    Another privileged macho straight man who cares nothing about their fellow human beings. Fuck him .

  • hyhybt

    @scoobydube: Best to steer clear of that. The idea that they might be a couple has been feeding the “gay = pedophile” lie for most of Batman’s existence.

  • jar

    @Kangol: Bill Clinton was the first president to speak to and acknowledge the gay community. As one of his first measures, he tried to remove the ban on gays in the military. Those were huge steps. He was beaten down for these efforts, including by members of his own party. Obama never took a courageous stand on behalf of the gay community. He crested on the winds of change; he did not take a stand on our behalf. He, as a constitutional law professor, was so unwilling to stand up for us, that he endorsed the discredited separate but equal position on same sex marriage. I applaud Obama for coming around, but it is false history (and a disservice to our community) to try to paint him as some bold advocate for our cause. He is president during a time of great strides for us, but he is not responsible for any of it. It was Clinton (as flawed as he was) who took risks on our behalf, not Obama.

  • hyhybt

    @jar: Intent is one thing; effective timing another. Just as you can’t really say that Clinton got a lot *done* in this area that was beneficial, you can’t really Obama didn’t have the intention all along to do it when the timing was favorable for it to actually work.

  • jimstoic

    Nations are political entities, so awarding medals by nation is by nature political.

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