According to an article in Gay Star News (available here), the IOC has done the unthinkable; announcing it will discipline athletes at the Olympics who attempt to stand up for human rights by wearing a rainbow pin, waving a rainbow flag, etc. The IOC is quoting a rule in the Olympic Charter, saying that such a display would be considered a ‘political display’ and is not allowed.
Perhaps they haven’t stopped to consider that they themselves are violating the Olympic Charter in their lackadaisical approach to opposing Russia’s hateful laws.
Luckily, International Sports Federations are able to make proposals to the IOC regarding Charter rules, and we’re hoping that they’ll decide to do so. You can help by sending the following message to the federation of your choice.
International Ski Federation (email@example.com)
International Biathalon Union (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Federation internationale de bobsleigh et de tobagganing (email@example.com)
World Curling Federation (firstname.lastname@example.org)
International Skating Union (email@example.com)
International Ice Hockey Federation (firstname.lastname@example.org)
International Luge Federation (email@example.com)
I’m writing to you today in regards to the human rights violations currently taking place in Russia, and the IOC’s response to this crisis. Many athletes are planning on making small displays of solidarity with LGBT* Russians at the upcoming Sochi Olympics, such as wearing rainbow pins or holding rainbow flags during the opening ceremonies. The IOC has announced that such actions will be in violation of Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter, as a form of political demonstration.
Rule 2 of the Charter outlines the IOC’s mission, which includes:
“to act against any form of discrimination affecting the Olympic Movement”
“to oppose any political or commercial abuse of sport and athletes”
It is not fair for the IOC to threaten athletes attempting to stand up for human rights, while they themselves are violating the Charter by neglecting to formally oppose Russia’s discriminatory laws. International Federations have the power to make proposals addressed to the IOC regarding the Charter, and I am asking that your organization choose to do so. Please tell the IOC that an athlete’s display against oppression and discrimination is in keeping with the fundamental principles of Olympism, and should not result in disciplinary action.
Thank you for your time and careful consideration of this issue.