Anti-Gay Russia and the 2014 Winter Olympics

People of good conscience are boycotting Russian vodka, as well as other Russian exports, as a way of protesting Russia’s new irrational, anti-gay (anti-human!) laws. My guess is that that’s a fairly reasonable way to express one’s opposition, although I haven’t examined it very closely – I could be mistaken.

People are also talking about boycotting the 2014 Sochi Olympics, urging their countries not to send athlete to the games. At first, I thought that was a great idea. Then, I remembered Jesse Owens.

The 1936 Summer Olympics were held in Berlin, Germany. Adolf Hitler and his Nazis were in power at that time. Hitler proclaimed the superiority of the “Aryan race” and the inferiority of people of African descent. The U.S.A. sent their teams to the games and Jesse Owens, a black man and a track and field star, won four gold medals, embodying a physical counter-argument to Hitler’s assertions.

Maybe all nations that at least claim to value freedom should send their athletes to the Sochi games, dressed in rainbow colours, and support LGBT athletes who are willing to publicly come out. Mightn’t that be so much more effective than a boycott?

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