Protect 2014 Olympians From Russia's Anti-Gay Law: Urge the International Olympic Committee to Keep Athletes & Participants Safe
- International Olympic Committee
- United States of America
Urge the International Olympic Committee to condemn Russia's anti-gay law and take strong and definitive action to protect all 2014 Olympic athletes, participants, and spectators from anti-gay harassment, discrimination, violence, and arrest at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
According to the Olympics’ official website, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is the “supreme authority of the Olympic Movement.” When it comes to dealing with Russia’s anti-gay law and the 2014 Russian Olympics, there is nothing supreme or authoritative going on.
Like the Ostrich, the IOC is using a “head in the sand” approach when dealing with Russia’s “gay propaganda” law. Rather than exerting its considerable influence to support gay rights, they’ve made excuses for their lack of involvement, ignored their own Olympic Charter’s discrimination policies, given false statements about its history of prior involvement in political activities, and failed to take proactive action to protect US athletes and participants at the Sochi Olympics.
Rather than making excuses for its inaction, it is time for the IOC to focus on what it CAN do to support and protect the 2014 Winter Olympic athletes and participants. Here are but a few actions the IOC must take:
• Recommend that each country participating in the Olympic Games delegate a high-profile citizen to serve as an LGBT Olympic Ambassador or Diplomat (as New Zealand has done.) Have this person be the top liaison between Olympic athletes/participants/spectators and Russian authorities. Have them be the “go-to” person for any/all Olympic-related anti-gay incidents.
• Recommend that each participating country have a strong security presence in Sochi, to protect and defend its Olympic athletes, spectators, and participants from anti-gay discrimination, violence, and harassment.
• Recommend that each participating country deploy a large, diverse legal team to the Sochi Olympics. Each team will monitor and investigate incidents of anti-gay discrimination, violence, or legal trouble involving Olympic athletes, spectators, and participants. Teams would provide front-line legal representation if needed.
• Demand that Russian authorities submit a written, official interpretation of the “gay propaganda” law as it pertains to the actions and behaviors of all Olympic athletes, participants, and spectators. The document must outline specifics about what it considers "risky behaviors" and "do's and dont's" for Olympic athletes and participants as it pertains to the anti-gay law.
• Require Russian authorities to submit a detailed action plan for keeping Olympic athletes, spectators, and participants safe from harassment, injury, arrest, and deportation as it relates to its anti-gay law.
• Hold Russian authorities accountable if they violate their agreement to protect Olympic athletes, participants, and spectators from anti-gay discrimination, harassment, and violence. Use the power mandated in the Olympic Charter to impose sanctions if any agreements are broken. Publicize the IOC’s own history of political action, like when it sanctioned South Africa for Apartheid and excluded them from Olympic participation for 30 years.
Petition signers: Send a message to the International Olympic Committee urging them to take strong, definitive action by signing the petition below. You can also call, write, or fax the International Olympic Committee using the following contact info.
IOC contact information:
International Olympic Committee
Château de Vidy
Case postale 356
Phone: +41 21 621 61 11
Fax: +41 21 621 62 16
Current IOC President: Thomas Bach, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Past IOC President : Jacques Rogge, email: email@example.com
IOC Media Relation: email: firstname.lastname@example.org