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This morning, the Los Angeles Times website ran an item titled IOC officials to ask athletes not to protest Russia's anti-gay law. Predictably, as I see it. The IOC has drafted a letter to send to the national Olympic committees to warn their athletes ixnay on the gay stuff.  Not our friends at all. Chutzpah below the great orange armband

The money quote. Rule 50 again:

The letter will reportedly focus on Russia's controversial anti-gay propaganda law.

"I know from my own experience, this is key," IOC President Thomas Bach, a former Olympic fencer, told the Associated Press. "As an athlete you do not want to be confronted in the Olympic Village or the Olympic Stadium with any kind of political controversies."

Oh, certainly not.
Here's how the Associated Press led off its coverage of Bach's election to the post in September:
Within minutes of being elected to the top job in the Olympics, Thomas Bach got a phone call from a powerful leader he'll work with closely in the next few months: Russian president Vladimir Putin.
The Times goes on to say that the letter will walk a fine line between the subject of discrimination and the question of Russia's anti-gay policies.

In case you forgot what Rule 50 is, here's how the Times describes it.

No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas.
The last time I discussed it I observed that this was item 3 after two items involving advertising and proper display of the rings. The IOC doesn't want to be embarrassed in front of Pooty-Poot at the opening or the closing ceremonies. Why do I think they'll even order NBC not to show anything that looks like a demonstration. Now I understand why Twitter is so necessary.

The good news, I suppose, is that the national organizations CAN reject the letter when it's presented to them in Lausanne this week. My guess is that the chances of that are the same as my being named goaltender of the hockey team the United States is sending to the Olympics.

Not that any of this is a surprise, of course. But I figure it's okay to keep exposing the IOC for the craven organization it is.

Originally posted to LGBT Rights are Human Rights on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 05:31 PM PST.

Also republished by The Wide World of Sports.

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