From Russia with hate

Russia banned the 2018 Warwick Rowers calendar for being “gay propaganda”

Nothing particularly surprising here: Russia has banned the 2018 Warwick Rowers calendar, calling it “gay propaganda.”

The long-running project raises money for Sport Allies, a charitable organization that aims to eradicate homophobia in sports.

It was ultimately rejected by Russian officials in customs.

The calendar features Warwick University’s rowing team undressed to impress, like so:


According to Gay Star News, the project raises six figures for the charity each year.

Russia has banned all six of calendars, citing “illegal content.”

The Warwick Rowers’ calendar producer, Angus Malcolm, thinks the group was specifically targeted.

Related: Naked Warwick Rowers Reveal What It’s Like To Be Objectified By Gay Men (They’re Into It)

Malcolm, who also acts as Sport Allies chairman, says their website was hit by “a distributed denial of service,” according to GSN.

The cyberattack, which sent thousands of visitors to their page, was eventually traced back to an IP address in Russia.

Malcolm weighed in on the situation in an article by The Independent

“My heart goes out to the rowers’ Russian fans, who are increasingly subjected to acts of hatred and discrimination that shouldn’t be tolerated in any society anywhere across the globe.

The fact Russian customs rejected our calendar is nothing compared to the suffering some LGBT+ people face every day, but it acts as a signifier of the wider problem.

If they can’t cope with a few naked bums, then frankly that’s quite sad.

With the rise of Putin’s brand of populism around the world, we have never needed straight allies like the Warwick Rowers more than we do now.”

This is far from the first time Russian banned products promoting the LGBTQ community: FIFA 17 was banned after players were allowed to dress their soccer team in rainbow-themed attire as part of Rainbow Laces campaign, which strives to erase homophobia in football.

Related: WATCH: The Warwick Rowers bare all for 2018 calendar


Their attempt to ban Apple for LGBTQ-themed emojis was thrown out by a Moscow court.

Russia’s “gay propaganda” law has resulted in various individuals being fined for allegedly “promoting homosexuality in children”.

It also led Children 404, a virtual support group for gay teens, to close its doors.

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #2018calendar #russia #thewarwickrowers stories and more


  • Paco

    The Russian gay propaganda law is why American Evangelical fundamentalists are suddenly so in love with Russia. They dream of having the same law here and have tried.

    Heterosexuals need to get over their denials that they are the only ones that create gay children and no amount of abuse towards those children will change their nature.

  • IWantAFullBeard

    Why does anyone care what Russia does?

  • JamJewel

    And Russia is banned from the 2018 Olympics because Russia is stupid! Tit for tat!

  • Kieran

    In US ally Saudi Arabia, they allow the calendar but all the models appear headless—-as a warning I guess.

  • Bryguyf69

    Well, I guess it’s poetic justice then that Russia has been banned from the 2018 Olympics. The severity of this punishment is unprecedented. The NY Times writes, “Russia’s Olympic team has been barred from the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The country’s government officials are forbidden to attend, its flag will not be displayed at the opening ceremony and its anthem will not sound.

    Any athletes from Russia who receive special dispensation to compete will do so as individuals wearing a neutral uniform, and the official record books will forever show that Russia won zero medals.”

    On a related note, it’ll be interesting to see if the IOC will ever have any official acknowledgement of it’s LGBT athletes. Normally, I’d say that it’s unnecessary since it doesn’t generally recognize any specific demographic. However, the IOC singled out the Gay Olympics in a copyright lawsuit, forcing it to be renamed the Gay Games. The Special Olympics, for example, as well as various animal Olympics, were not sued. Furthermore, transgender athletes have become news sporadically in the last few years. Whether they should compete as male or female is a legitimate issue, independent of homophobia. Is it fair for a MtoF trans athlete to compete against other females when she still has the strength and stamina of males? How about the use of testosterone, which is currently banned? Furthermore, Olympian Bruce Jenner has added very high visibility to the issue. I think it’s just a matter of time before the IOC will issue an official statement on the matter.

  • Jack Meoff

    So if it had been a calendar of naked girls would it have been banned and considered a promotion of lesbianism or do they only care about male homosexuality and threats against their masculinity.

  • Sam6969

    Enlightened people call that obscurantism. They call that “protection of children” and righteous vertu. They always find “good” reasons to hide their bigotry.

Add your Comment

Please log in to add your comment
Need an account? Register *It's free and easy.