So I mentioned that this post was going to be a little different, and by that I mean that there’s a bit of a political side to this rather than just admiring the sexiness of Olympic Speed Skater Blake Skjellerup.
You’ve probably seen some of the news about the 2014 Winter Olympics taking place in Sochi and the anti-LGBT laws potentially affecting participants and spectators.
There are mixed messages coming out about this, the IOC (International Olypic Committee) has said that they have had assurances from the “highest” in the Russian Government that people will not be affected by the laws. Then Russia stated that they would be, that the law covers all expression of LGBT issues in their country. Then a member of the IOC repeated that too, stating that they have to willingly comply with the laws of the host nation.
It gets better! British writer, actor and comedian Stephen Fry joined the campaign asking the Prime Minister to take a stand for the UK, and the PM replied that a boycott wouldn’t help, but no mention of any positive action that could be taken.
Fry then went on to suggest that athletes use an arm gesture to show solidarity to LGBT Russians, which many have jumped on. But the IOC has now pointed out that they punish any athletes using the games for any political expression…
It seems to me that all options are being closed off, and the world (and specifically the IOC) are willing to ignore the Human Rights abuses in Russia so they can have their games and make lots of money.
What is there left to do? How about boycotting the sponsors? The IOC, Russia nor any government can do anything about that at all. Coca-Cola and McDonalds are the most prominent sponsors of the event, so a global boycott of their brands reported across the gay media might help to put pressure on the IOC to really take a stand.
What are your thoughts on this? And do you agree with Blake Skjellerup that athletes should attend and be vocal, risking arrest and risking a backlash from the IOC too?