“IOC President Thomas Bach must learn the lesson from the anti-gay fiasco in Russia and ensure this never happens again.”
LGBT and human rights advocates remain uncertain about what to expect in Russia under the international spotlight of the Olympics. Several organizations, along with the U.S. State Department, warn LGBT visitors to exercise caution.
“They’re there to compete. They’re not there to talk about their politics or their religion or anything else,” U.S. Olympic Committee CEO says. LGBT groups push back on comments “bordering on speech police.”
“We’re against discrimination in sport, full stop,” said Heath Spence, captain of the Australian Men’s bobsled team.
“It tells you a lot about [IOC] President Bach and the IOC’s commitment to human rights that they believe this issue should be easily compartmentalized into a protest zone,” one LGBT advocate says.
At least 34 Olympians and professional athletes announced their support for the effort, according to Athlete Ally and All Out. “We need to take advantage of this Olympic moment,” a leading LGBT advocate said.
“Just like Jackie, the breakthrough gay athlete will be a courageous individual going it alone in uncharted territory. But, also like Jackie, he will have backup — and hopefully more of it,” the Baltimore Raven writes. And, a Viking already is backing him up.
There are no out male athletes in the major league sports world today. But among pro ballers, the straight part of the gay-straight alliance is finally getting itself off the ground.