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Olympic Committee: We Will Punish Athletes For Pro-LGBT Activism During Games

by David Badash on August 12, 2013

in 2014 Winter Olympics,News

The International Olympics Committee (IOC) has just made it very clear: any Olympic athlete who engages in any political statement, or show of activism or support for Russia’s LGBT community will be punished, up to and including disqualifying them from competing and sending them home.

UPDATE: LGBT Olympic Athletes Can Be Arrested Under Anti-Gay Law Says Top Russian Minister

As The New Civil Rights Movement reported last week, the International Olympics Committee’s charter states:

No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas.

The IOC bylaws clarify this rule:

No form of publicity or propaganda, commercial or otherwise, may appear on persons, on sportswear, accessories or, more generally, on any article of clothing or equipment whatsoever worn or used by the athletes or other participants in the Olympic Games, except for the identification – as defined in paragraph 8 below – of the manufacturer of the article or equipment concerned, provided that such identification shall not be marked conspicuously for advertising purposes.

Many have been wondering if these rules will be enforced at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.


IOC Slammed With 322,000 Petitions Demanding They Condemn Russia’s Anti-Gay Laws (Video)

Russia: State-Owned News Defends Anti-Gay Laws By Quoting US Hate Group Leader As ‘Expert’

The “IOC has a clear rule laid out in the Olympic Charter (Rule 50) which states that the venues of the Olympic Games are not a place for proactive political or religious demonstration,” a spokeswoman told GayStarNews. She added:

“This rule has been in place for many years and applied when necessary.

“In any case, the IOC would treat each case individually and take a sensible approach depending on what was said or done.”

Past and present Olympic athletes have been speaking out against Vladimir Putin‘s war on gays, but all have insisted the Games must continue.



Chuck Schumer: Every Country Should Wave Gay Pride Flags At Olympics (Video)

Photos: Stephen Fry Joins Hundreds In London To Protest Russia Anti-Gay Laws, Olympics

George Takei On Russian Olympics: ‘This Is A Situation Of Good Vs. Evil’ (Video)

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Alex_Parrish August 12, 2013 at 1:39 pm

I commented on the Schumer story that i thought his approach was better — but now I am having a change-of-heart about this. Some of the articles I have read have pointed-out the problems with having the athletes display defiance of Russian laws and support for LGBT people. Someone pointed-out that Jesse Owen's appearance at the German olympics had zero effect on Nazi policies and I can't argue with that. Perhaps a total boycott of the olympics is in order — as so many have suggested.

gaylib69 August 12, 2013 at 4:00 pm

The IOC is a pathetic excuse of an organization that falsely advocates the motto of celebrating diversity. If this is not a wake up call to the LGBT community, then I don't know what is. I hope all people will come to their senses and support the complete boycott of all things Russian and all things associated with the Olympic Games. You cannot pump billions of dollars into a country that promotes legal jailing and death of LGBT individuals. If you think supporting and going to the Games to "protest" is going to do any good, you are a fool.

Snowmara August 12, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Really need to just relocate the 2014 Olympics. I won't watch them if they air in Russia and I imagine I'm not a lone.

stemke2010 August 13, 2013 at 1:51 am

While I don't disagree with you, I think it would be a difficult thing to accomplish to relocate the Games at this late date. I also don't like the idea of individual nations having to boycott the games in order to make a point. What I would like to see instead, is the IOC admit that they made a mistake awarding the Games to Russia in the first place and just tell them that they are going to cancel the Games entirely, since Russia can't "play nicely" with the LGBT's of the world.

kwine333 August 12, 2013 at 5:49 pm

So, apparently you have two choices if you are a Gay/Lesbian athlete/coach/family member attending the Olympics in Sochi, Russia next year. Either you are dishonest about who you are and remain completely silent and in the closet about being Gay/Lesbian or being an ally of the LGBT Community so that you can attend the Olympics without fear of horrible consequences . . . OR, you are honest and face either being put in jail, being beaten to death by street punks, and being disqualified from the Olympic games for pure honesty. ~~~ I agree with those who are in favor of boycotting everything Russian and anything to do with the games. The IOC is making a mockery of this situation. The main goal should be a safe venue for EVERYONE to compete equally. If Russia cannot handle that, then the IOC should change the venue to a country that can!

stemke2010 August 13, 2013 at 1:42 am

I find the IOC's "tough guy" stance against the athletes a little misplaced. They should be talking tough to the Russians. Instead, I guess since they're afraid of them, they'll threaten the athletes. Spineless bunch, that IOC.

Pat_Kennedy_6 August 13, 2013 at 5:56 am

What is it with old white guys? They seem to think they are free to follow some of the written rules… the ones that suit them, and ignore others that don't!
You see it with the bible and how they cherry-pick the parts they'll follow, and ignore the parts the won't, and now you see it with the Olympic Charter. If memory serves, part of the same charter the forbids political protests, also guarantees that athletes can compete free from discrimination of any kind?
I am an old (55) white guy, and I just don't get it!

kevinjmccarthy August 13, 2013 at 2:19 pm

I think what we need to do is get the sponsors to visibly promote human rights. We still need to support the athletes for their dedication to the sport of which they have committed most of their life to.

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