Russia, IOC Team Up to Defend Oppression

The Russian Olympic organizing committee is asking the IOC to help them calm the furor over the new Russian law that forbids “homosexual propaganda,” which they’ve interpreted as being even acknowledging that one is gay in public. And the IOC, like good little lapdogs, is hopping right to it.

The head of the Sochi Olympics asked the IOC on Sunday to help “stop this campaign and this speculation” related to the anti-gay law that has been overshadowing preparations for next year’s Winter Games in Russia.

A senior IOC member, meanwhile, said sponsors are “afraid” of the fallout of possible demonstrations in Sochi.

“I think this could ruin a lot for all of us,” marketing commission chairman Gerhard Heiberg said. “We have to be prepared.”

IOC President Jacques Rogge said the Olympic body will remind athletes to refrain from any protests or political gestures during the Feb. 7-23 Sochi Games.

Awww, how terrible. It might cost money if sponsors don’t want to be associated with those who apologize for oppression. My heart is bleeding buckets for them.

He said the Russian government had made clear the law would not affect the games, and he urged the IOC to convey the message to “those who are still trying to speculate on this very transparent and very clear topic.”

“It’s very important to have your support to stop this campaign and this speculation regarding this issue,” Chernyshenko said.

Then why the need to tell the athletes not to speak out about it? If the law is not going to be applied, then there should be no reason to warn the athletes not to wave rainbow flags during the opening ceremonies or not to speak out against the law in other ways.

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  • cptdoom

    What neither the Russians or the IOC seem to realize is that nothing can stop protests outside of the Games- and by that I mean in other countries. The more they try to deflect the controversy, the more likely protests outside of Russian embassies & consulates and outside of sponsor headquarters will be. I can easily see such protests going on in various spots around the world for the duration of the Games as well as from now until they start.

    Of course the Russians don’t seem to understand it won’t just he the Games that will be the focus of protests. As long as these oppressive laws continue, the Russians will face outrage & anger, especially if they ramp up the laws to take children away from gay parents, as is now being threatened.

  • the Russian government had made clear the law would not affect the games

    Sounds like they’re confused, thinking that people are only anxious about some snowboarder from Japan being nabbed off the slope and sent to a gulag for having rainbows on her boots, when people are actually concerned about Russian LGBT people having to live every day with this stupid and immoral law.

  • Is anyone else seeing the start of an international Streisand effect? The more Russia justifies its bigotry, and the more the IOC insists that it will crack down on protests, the greater the outrage and desire to protest grows.

  • =8)-DX

    So basically the Russian law wont be enforced at the olympics, because the IOC will do all the enforcing for them:

    The most important thing is to be sure all these people making a silly fuss over nothing keep their mouths shut, because absolutely nothing will happen to them, or else!

  • You would hope that the IOC would find a different way to keep their sponsors happy. Like, say, applying pressure on the Russian government to reconsider their law.

  • Artor

    I hope every single gay athlete, and some who aren’t, defy this ban and proudly wave rainbow flags, declare in interviews, etc. that they fully support gay rights, and refuse to change the subject. If Putin wants to enforce his bigotry, then he can deal with the international fallout himself.

  • doublereed

    @5 Deen

    The IOC does not have a good track record on discrimination. They are probably big supporters of the Russian law.

  • The IOC is defending something more important than human rights: advertising revenue.

    Someone needs to offer an Olympic commentator gig to Ellen DeGeneres.

  • bushrat

    What?!? The IOC caters to profits and corruption and not to human rights and dignity like they’re suppose too? Well, colour me surprised.

  • Pingback: The IOC Can Eat a Bag of Dicks. | Foster Disbelief()

  • zero6ix

    What if every Olympian lined themselves up by sevens, and dressed in the spectrum. Would they all be arrested? Or would they have to perform one of those elaborate marching band routines that spell out the words “Gays Exist”?

  • eric

    I hope every single gay athlete, and some who aren’t, defy this ban and proudly wave rainbow flags

    Forget flags, I’m with zero6ix. Make the uniforms themselves include rainbows. Its the winter olympics; the most televised event (in the US) of the games will be the figure skating…an event where flamboyant costumes are not just the norm, they’re practically required. So, skate to ‘somewhere over the rainbow’ with giant ROYGBIV streamers fluttering out behind you. Sure, the russian judge docks you points on artistic expression. But what else can they do? Guess what – they’re going to lowball the western candidates anyway, they always do.

  • congenital cynic

    The IOC are a bunch of self-serving pricks. Fuck them. And Putin.

  • congenital cynic

    And if the games were totally derailed by the protests, and the sponsors went home whining, I couldn’t possibly care any less. They are already corrupt to the core.

    Support your local kids in sports. Put your energy and money there. Sports are about a lot more than being best in the world.

  • magistramarla

    Someone who is announcing at the events needs to begin talking about the history of the Olympic games in Greece, and BTW about the views of the ancient Greeks toward homosexuality.

  • kantalope

    What it really is – is time for sponsors to take their dollars and walk. And everyone should encourage them to do so.

    And ALL of the US uniforms should have a rainbow motif.

  • lordshipmayhem

    If I were the leader of any country, I’d be advising my citizens to not go to these games, be that citizen a competitor or just there to see the fans, be that citizen gay or straight (or bi, etc etc)

    They could be arrested after the Games are over, they could be arrested DURING the Games, even if they were doing something they thought innocuous but Russian police thought in violation of their draconian little law.

    DO NOT GO. For your own safety and security.