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Broadcaster Alice Arnold: It would be ‘bizarre’ to boycott the Sochi Winter Olympics

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  1. Tim Chapman 28 Jan, 5:17pm

    “If there was to have been any kind of boycott, it has to come from everyone not just the gay minority.”

    But I do call on everyone to boycott the games.

  2. I’m not entirely sure I care what Alice Arnold thinks. Would she feel the same if her partner was not on a lucrative contract to commentate from Sochi? I think she should declare an interest.

  3. Who is this idiot? I haven’t heard anyone talking about just LGBT people boycotting the Olympics, people want the entire event by EVERYONE to be boycotted. Just goes to show we have ignorant people in our own community.

    1. Derek Williams 28 Jan, 9:19pm

      She is referring to the call for LGBT athletes to boycott the games, with zero guarantee that straight athletes will do likewise. A gay-free Olympics is exactly what Russia wants, and once Sochi is over, Putin has stated he wants Russia ‘cleansed’ of homosexuals.

  4. Which is why we DO want everyone to boycott the games – rather than attend and then make excuses for why they’re tacitly supporting Russia’s persecution of GBLT people

  5. Completely agree with Alice Arnold – the competitors have worked too hard for this event to throw it away and not compete. It is not their fault, and only a full boycott would have any measurable difference, something that only a few countries would even consider.
    Social change takes time. The best thing we can do is show support for our athletes and show how any athlete, irrelevant of sexual orientation, are worthy of our love and respect.
    Putin knows exactly what the western world thinks of his laws and regime. The best way to change is mind is to show how much better society works in a society free of corruption and bigotry.

    1. Linda Dale 28 Jan, 9:54pm

      Agree with you about Alice’s article At this stage how can a complete ban be enforced. The Winter Olympics are huge in North America more than the Summer Olympics Also some countries will not boycott as they are one of some 76 countries where the homosexual act is illegal & in a lot of them punishment more severe than in Russia. I for one will carry on the campaigns run by organisations such as Stonewall. Amnesty & All out.org long after the Olympics have ended & are a distant memory.

  6. Alice Arnold: “There have been calls for gay athletes and commentators to boycott the games. This strikes me as bizarre. “

    No Alice, we want ALL athletes and commentators to boycott the games

  7. Colin (Queenstown/London) 28 Jan, 7:13pm

    I do not agree with her and as a broadcaster she is biased. Who is her Partner again!

    We are trying to get a world wide protest going here. Turning up and saying nothing achieves nothing but validated the hosting country.

    US President and British PM have got it right. Stay away. I hope there is a massive public disorder every day of the games.

    Remember folks there is one simple way to show your protest.
    Simply delete the channels that broadcast the Olympics from your boxes for the period of the Olympics.
    By not watching this hurts the country as it gets no world profile, the sponsors who support Russia’s stance on homophobia by being there and saying nothing. (Human rights over business any day.) Further it hurts the broadcaster who are paying to broadcast it.
    The results of the Olympics will still be the results just no visibility to Russia.

    If every gay person did this and asked a straight friend and one member of their family to do this we would have 18% of the planet protesting

  8. I had a friend who went to jamaica. I tore him apart and asked him how could he enjoy himself Iknowing that other people on the island were living in fear. Arnold is of the same selfish mindset.

  9. Leigh Oats 28 Jan, 7:31pm

    Says Alice Arnold in the website of London’s Daily Telegraph: “There have been calls for gay athletes and commentators to boycott the games. This strikes me as bizarre.”

    That statement borders on the bizarre. The truth, as has been expressed by some other people in this thread, is that most of the said “calls” urge whole _nations_ to boycott Sochi’s unsporting festervale of tears.

    Berlin 1936 version 2, here we shouldn’t come.

  10. BlokeToys 28 Jan, 8:06pm

    Ooh, another gay person trying to speak for us all and ignoring European history!
    Nothing was done in 1936, and look what happened as a result.

    I also think we all agree that it should be a boycott by all, not just the LGBT community. I haven’t actually seen anyone suggesting otherwise.

    She seems to be yet another detached person commenting on something she seems to know little about, desperate to justify her own moral and ethical position.

    Blanket statement coming… if you support this hateful event and the hypocritical IOC you will not get any respect from me. Placing the glory of individuals above the Human Rights of hundreds of thousands of people is sickening, disgustingly selfish, verging on inhuman and makes me want to vomit. Apologists more interested in their own glory should be ashamed.

  11. I get so discouraged by the silly comments on here. As a gay man I obviously put huge importance on gay rights, and the situation in Russia is terrible, but you can’t blame athletes for this and boycotting just won’t work. Please put perspective on the issue. Asking people to not view or support our own athletes is awful; surely we can find attainable ways of protesting without asking people to stop what they love: sports. The athletes are not to blame. At least we should be supporting gay athletes who have the courage to compete there despite the countries laws.

    1. Bobbleobble 28 Jan, 8:38pm

      Yes heaven forbid the great god sport be in any way inconvenienced by something as trifling as human rights. Putin will score a massive propaganda coup from this, gay rights will deteriorate further in Russia but so long as you get to watch the skiing well who cares right?

      And quite frankly any athlete who goes to Sochi is condoning the Putin regime and its homophobia. I shan’t be watching and have no respect for attendees, gay or straight.

    2. Colin (Queenstown/London) 28 Jan, 10:26pm

      This is about human rights mate and freedom of expression that others fought hard for you to get in this country. Don’t ever take them for granted. They can be reversed as in Russia.

      It is not a money making, back slapping, promotional event. It’s not about the athletes. Yes they worked hard its about basic freedoms.

    3. BlokeToys 29 Jan, 2:48pm

      “Courage” to compete? These athletes are not facing the brutality of the Russian state, they are attending to gain acclaim, medals and money. The notion that this is more important than the Human Rights of so many people in Russia makes me sick. I cannot for the life of me understand how anyone can simply ignore this and cheer on some sporting people knowing that the plight of so many is being completely ignored.

      I know plenty of cheer leaders for the IOC and athletes will be desperately trying to excuse their sickening stance on this, ignoring what’s happening to make them feel better, but the fact remains – by supporting the athletes, by supporting the IOC, and by suggesting a boycott solves nothing, you are basically saying that Human Rights come second to personal glory.

      Sport and personal glory IS NEVER more important than Human Rights. End of discussion.

  12. “If there was to have been any kind of boycott, it has to come from everyone not just a the gay minority”. Whilst a boycott by everyone would have been good, those gay people who go toe Sochi are selling out gay people in Russia. Blading and Arnold are trying to find a way of justifying going because they care more about their careers than they do about being decent role models. Fair enough, but next time either of them try to come over as being spokesperson or representative of gay people we will remember this.

  13. Tim Haigh 29 Jan, 12:56pm

    It’s crass to suggest a boycott would be bizarre. Boycotts do work, often alongside other actions. e.g. against apartheid. Arnold and Balding are just interested in their own cosy positions and showing they seem don’t care about the real people who are suffering. The nazis went on to murder millions after the world took part in the Berlin Olympics as if nothing was wrong.

    1. BlokeToys 29 Jan, 2:56pm

      Exactly.
      I think there’s a lot of desperation to justify something they want so badly. I have a feeling a lot of people are finding it very hard to sleep at night, knowing they are abandoning so many people to have their party, and now they’re all crawling out of the woodwork to try to justify their position publicly, hoping that the majority will agree with them and give them some peace of mind.

      Thankfully that’s not happening. Far too many people rightly place Human Rights above personal profit, glory and ego. They can try to justify it all they like, but it doesn’t change the fact that they are selfishly placing their own wants above the basic freedoms and rights of others.

      All those who support, participate or attend should be ashamed. I hope they never have s good nights sleep again and loose the respect of millions.

  14. SilenceIsGolden 30 Jan, 8:55am

    I have to fault Alice for not making things clearer. I believe she meant to point out WE as gay people NEED to go to Russia:

    1. We need to point at what’s happening there. During the China games TV was full of reports about human rights issues there. Something concerned people knew, but the “general, stupid masses” didn’t. Having these kinds of reports mixed in with the sport events, gets people to listen. If we boycott, nobody would put a spotlight on it!

    2. Russian propaganda seems to works well, there are quite a lot of Russians who believe that we are scum. By being openly out and being in Russia, as broadcasters, delegation members and athletes, we show them that we’re not. Prejudice is based on fear, often fear of the unknown. We need to go to Russia for the same reason as we come out: to be in people’s faces + lives. To be visible.

    3. We need to win medals. And give non-gay athletes a chance to be allies.

  15. SilenceIsGolden 30 Jan, 9:07am

    Oh, I just found this from Athlete Ally in my mail: http://www.athleteally.org/action/equality-russia/ As recently announced, the head of the IOC gave green light for athletes to speak freely. So we should. All the athletes should. NO athlete will support a ban of an event they competed for for 4 years; it’s just nuts to assume that. If you want to do something, encourage ALL competing athletes to speak up about the issue (see link above), whenever they have the media at their command.

    Staying silent is NOT the golden way here.

  16. Who the Fu** is Alice?

    1. Leigh Oats 1 Feb, 8:16am

      According to Lewis Carroll, Alice is the one who curiously changes her size each time when she tastes one side of a mushroom and then the other.

      Keep off mushrooms!

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