Russia is under scrutiny for it’s oppressive attacks on t’s gay community which appear to be condoned in recent legislation…….but why Russia and why now? This is something that has been happening for a long time and whilst a blind eye hasn’t exactly been turned, it has now come to the forefront.
There are many countries who human rights record is unbelievable – China, islamic countries, African nations (many have anti gay laws) – but Russia is at the forefront, why? Is it Stephen Fry…..is it Cameron talking about the boycott of the Olympics…….or is it that Russia has just granted political asylum to Edward Snowden….could be. First Obama cancels a summit meeting with Russia and then all the media is talking about boycotting Olympics due to Russian intolerance to the gay community.
Then we should the Olympics be used to send a political message? No-one will ever forget the black power salute by Tommie Smith and John Carlos in 1968, but that was their issue and there was no onus and anyone else doing something similar. If the anti gay policies of Russia need to be fought, then they should be done en masse by heads of state, or by the public from within. If political statements are left to the individual athletes to make, what does that say about those who don’t make a statement. The games will become a media circus of who condemns Russian policy and for those who just simply want to concentrate on what they have trained for all their life, this will make them an advocate by default.
I don’t personally see the point of the Olympics but if a political stance needs to be made then it should be done by by the UK Olympic Body. Just as with cricket, in the apartheid era, and football throughout the world – should sport be used to make political points, and if so is it fair to leave to individuals who just simply want to run fast.