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View Diary: American Wins Silver Medal in Russia, Dedicates it to Gays and Lesbians (148 comments)

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  •  In the minority here. (1+ / 0-)
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    The Olympic ideal is completely apolitical. If you can hold the Olympics in Nazi Germany, you can hold it in Sochi. I abhor what Russia is doing, and what it has become: Mobsters, vulture capitalism, church dictating social policy. and a type of homophobia more suitable to Uganda than the country that produced Tchaikovsky.

    But the Olympics would never be held if they must be held in a country without sin. When Jimmy Carter kept Americans from going to the Olympics in the Soviet Union because the Soviet Union had invaded Afghanistan, it was a BIG mistake on his part.

    All that being said, if you leave the athletes out of it, there are effective means of protesting -- the audience can do it. We could organize a group to go over and engage in effective nonviolent (on our part) protest.

    Choking off the advertisers won't help. Then you just harm the Olympics, not Russia.

    If you hate government, don't run for office in that government.

    by Bensdad on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 10:41:32 AM PDT

    •  The point will be made, and vehemently, (9+ / 0-)

      regardless of the "apolitical" nature of the Games.  This is a far, far different world in terms of communication than 1936.

      It will be amusing to see how Putin's Mafia state tries to respond.

    •  If advertisers suffer it hurts Russia. (8+ / 0-)

      Russia will be equated as being bad for business.

    •  Eh, that's not very fair, though: (19+ / 0-)

      if Johnny Weir wins a medal in Sochi and thanks his husband on television, he runs afoul of Russian law and risks a fine and deportation.  I understand the desire to be apolitical, but it is not possible for LGBT athletes to be apolitical.  That puts a particular onus on the IOC to protect him, and foregrounds Russia's laws in a way that they Olympics may not want, but is impossible to avoid.

      (This is a fairly typical situation for minorities, though: you recognize that your very existence is political in a way that majorities don't.  You can't really ignore it.)

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 11:01:15 AM PDT

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      •  Thank you, pico. (13+ / 0-)

        It's easy for straight spokespersons to try to dust this under the rug. I hope both you and TomP will be joined by others in making this an issue.

        Interestingly, I've traveled a fair amount (been to Russia 2x) and will never go again as long as this new law stands. As a gay, if I give my partner a peck on the cheek in public, will I be arrested?

      •  That is an apolitical statement with.... (0+ / 0-)

        .....a politically expressive effect, much like thanking your rabbi in 1936 Berlin.

        Athletes should not be inhibited from being themselves and I am certain that in the Olympic Village they will not be.  If they venture out of that village and a male athlete kisses a guy in public, he can do that but the IOC has NOTHING to do with that. It is apolitical and this is a political problem. The moment you turn the IOC into a body that engages in politics, the Olympic ideal --and it is just that, an ideal-- is eroded.

        As a nation, we must protect our athletes but the burden of protesting should not be put on the IOC or the athletes. It should be on us and other nations as progressive as our own on this issue.

        I do think this is in like 1936 Berlin. Should our athletes have protested the anti-semitism and racism of Germany? As harsh as it seems, I think the answer is no. You just send them Jesse Owens.

        If you hate government, don't run for office in that government.

        by Bensdad on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 11:42:23 AM PDT

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        •  Everything is political (1+ / 0-)
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          Each team that shows up to play has made a de facto political decision. Each team that forbids its members from speaking about homosexuality is making a political decision.

          Complying with a political decision is political. Protesting a political decision is political. The Russian government has decided to make the Olympics a political event. All reactions now are political as a result.

          Don't forget that most men with nothing would rather protect the possibility of becoming rich than face the reality of being poor. - John Dickinson ("1776")

          by banjolele on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 03:45:30 PM PDT

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