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Gay footballer Robbie Rogers urges athletes not to boycott Sochi Winter Olympics

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  1. Everyone is repeatedly referring to the 1936 Olympics with Jesse Owen’s participation yet every single last one of them is completely failing to mention how that did NOTHING to stop the Olympics being used as a massive propaganda tool by Hitler.

    And how is it a teachable moment when the Russian govt AND IOC are banning any gestures? Teaching what? Straight bigots want us silent or dead? I already know that!

    Since when has equality had anything to do with the Olympic dream? Sports people, stop putting your hobby and job on a pedestal – the sports industry is not equality focused (far from it) and the IOC is more interested in silencing us than helping us

    1. Also, his attendance did absolutely nothing to prevent the extermination of millions in the holocaust. Is the ‘teaching moment’ here the sheer futility of trying to stand up against fascist, totalitarian regimes?

    2. There is a way that I could support the Olympics and that would be if every single (or even just a great portion) of medal winners donned a supportive pin or sign or statement that they disagreed with the Russian persecution so the people could see that every time a medal was awarded. I would expect a united front like that to embarrass Russian leaders and show support for the gay population. Unless the IOC were to allow for it, it could not happen. It might not happen anyway, as the decision would be up to every athlete as to the level of their support. But how great would it be to see the Olympics shut down because every athlete was in a Russian jail for two weeks waiting to be deported according to the Russian law. That would be solidarity!

  2. ah yes the 1936 Olympics did so much to stop the massacre of millions of Jew’s, gays, people with disabilities.

    Oh wait no it did **** all but legitimatise a fascist regime and give international and national PR to Hitler and the Nazi’s

    1. I know everyone is calling for a boycott, but I’m worried it would result in further persecution and blame; putin could easily say the west turned its back on mother russia because it’s weak liberalness, and it’s as usual it’s all the gays fault!!!

      I kind of want to see some radical fairies rustle some Russian feathers ! I want to see some of that 60s spirit empower a new generation to stand up for what is right in the face of evil; I wanna see some good old activism.

      1. Derek Williams 15 Aug 2013, 4:37am

        Persecution is a foregone conclusion, so we should take bold steps. If not a boycott, then move the games.

  3. Openly Fabulous 14 Aug 2013, 7:15pm

    I can hardly think of a better way to show Russia that its anti-gay laws are unacceptable than by boycotting its olympics. Sorry Robbie, but I haven’t just jumped on the ‘boycott bandwagon’, I’m waving a rainbow flag from the top.

  4. Nice idea …. but that’s all it is! Time some well-meaning people lived in the real world – what is going on in Russia is NOT a fairy-tale!!!

  5. F. Gallant 14 Aug 2013, 7:50pm

    Sorry, Mr Rogers, but I don’t see the moves as being impulsive. The facts are before us. How long will we put up with foolishness? Will we be doing it all over again for the next time? It should, at this time in our history, be automatic diqualification. Bandwagon, my foot.

  6. Human rights > people’s desire to compete

    The latter is important, I know to the athletes it means everything…but by denying Russia the revenue from having the olympics in their country – it will be more of a stand than attending and making a few comments.

    Hit them financially. That’s the way forward.

  7. Michael Nektarios Inkpin-Leissner 14 Aug 2013, 11:03pm

    Sorry Rob, I do completely disagree with you on that! You are in the wrong!

  8. I feel sorry for the athletes, but let’s be quite clear:

    Sport is NOT more important than civil rights.

  9. I agree with him. By this point, it’s too late to change the location, simple fact of the matter, and it’s not fair to the people who have been training all year to compete. While i won’t be watching the olympics, i still think the athletes should go. Oh, wait, i’m sorry, i had an independent thought, i forgot, that isn’t allowed here *ahem* GET IT OUT!

  10. St Sebastian, the humanitarian 15 Aug 2013, 1:02am

    I think the opening and closing ceremonies should be boycotted. This will send a strong message, remove a great deal of the perceived prestige whilst not disadvantaging the athletes who have trained long and hard for their sport (and their biological clocks/peak may not enable them to compete at the next winter games).

  11. I propose that our sportsmen will be wearing rainbow costumes during the Sochi Olympics.

    1. mikeysussex 15 Aug 2013, 9:33am

      No. They will clash as they don’t match my outfit.

  12. mikeysussex 15 Aug 2013, 9:31am

    Typical sportsman. Money and “sport” (along with sponsorship, no doubt) before human rights. Rogers is like most footballers – thick and money made. Football is no longer a sport, it’s a business. Ask Murdoch.

  13. Stephen Frost 15 Aug 2013, 11:01am

    It’s not as if athletes or spectators can even go there to protest. Any hand signals, badges, flags, symbols… anything, will be seen as propaganda and not only have the Russian government made it very clear that they will prosecute them, the IOC has said they will disqualify them. Do you really think anyone’s going to risk that? And do you think Putin is going to see a hand gesture or flag and change his mind? A boycott is the only way forward. All of these spineless athletes should be ashamed of themselves. They will always put money and fame before the human rights of strangers.

  14. If you compete, you tell millions of Russians their rights are not as important as a game; you tell tens of millions of Russians it is not so bad to discriminate; you tell the Russian government that it can do anything it wishes with next to no penalty.

    Are the Olympic games so important that we can not stand together to make a real impression? If you compete, you tell the Russian government that it can do anything it wishes with next to no penalty and next to no impression. He will have his games and he will keep the draconian laws. And all he will say, is that he won. And the persecution will go on. And he will feel vindicated. And millions of lives will be at risk. Literally.

    By boycotting the Olympics, we show the good people of Russia that we have their backs.Boycotting the Olympics will give the good people of Russia a growing voice to use against the persecution. And it will let the gays of Russia know that they are not alone, and that we care.

  15. I would like to be able to look back years from now at a teaching moment in 2014 wherein the nations of the world resoundingly said “NO!” in concert to the wickedness of the Russian government. That would be a pride-generating history lesson!

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