Picabo Street Shrugs Off Olympic Safety Concerns

Two protestors in Massachusetts disrupted an Olympic/Boston Globe PR event last week, shouting questions and protesting until they were forcibly removed.

On one hand: it’s hard to agree with a person who is yelling a lot and does not appear to have anyone backing them up, because that looks like it might be a crazy person.

But on the other hand: anyone who’s been following the Olympics at all ought to know that the concerns about Russia’s human rights abuses are not crazy-person issues. And when’s the last time that a meek, well-behaved protest accomplished anything?

The video above shows Robert Hamburger asking a loooooooooooong question, a dismissive response from an Olympic official, and then things get ugly. Skip to 3:20 to see Robert being neither meek nor well-behaved.

Sasha Kaufmann of GetEqual Massachusetts didn’t make it into the video, but she later asked the panel, “How can you reassure that I won’t be arrested as an out lesbian at Sochi?” Though we don’t have footage, GetEqualMA reports that two-time Olympic medalist Picabo Street answered, “I would take you under my arm. We will experience the Olympic games together, and have a wonderful time.”

This is pretty much the height of heterosexual privilege. “Hey, what are all those uppity gays complaining about? As a cisgender heterosexual I have never experienced any safety concerns at all!”

Kaufman followed up by asking what would happen to LGBT Russians after the games are over. Street’s response: “I don’t know. Hopefully, nothing.”

Great job, everyone.

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  • hyhybt

    Kaufman followed up by asking what would happen to LGBT Russians after the games are over. Street’s response: “I don’t know. Hopefully, nothing.”

    Seems like a pretty good answer to me, and frankly, more polite than the deserves. “Why the hell would I know that?” covers it a bit better. It’s essentially demanding fortune-telling from someone who has no rational reason to know any more than anyone else and a lot less reason to know than, say, people who actually have any control whatsoever over what happens in Russia after the Olympics.

  • Goforit

    Mr. Hamburger may not have been meek but he certainly was “well-behaved”. Merely following up with a tough question when given a dismissive answer is not misbehaving. Something that as a reporter you should be well aware of Mr. Baume. I am all for someone standing up for their Constitutional right to free speech, in a public forum, against any organization that is not working for the equal rights of ALL the people they represent.

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  • viveutvivas

    What a patronizing douche ? If she really cared, she would refuse to lend her (rather ridiculous) name to this Olympic travesty.

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