Moscow | Russia | Sochi Olympics

Are These Russian Athletes Protesting The Country's Anti-Gay Law?

Some media outlets are speculating that possibility.

Russian athletes Kseniya Ryzhova and Tatyana Firova appear to lock lips after their winning the gold in in the women's 4X400 meters relay at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow. No word yet from the two women.

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  1. The answer is NO. Here's a link to a video of the awards ceremony. Everyone is kissing everyone:

    This photo is very misleading. The commenters at JMG are praising these women for their "statement," but it isn't a statement at all. See for yourself.

    Posted by: Randy | Aug 18, 2013 10:52:44 AM

  2. If it was two men kissing, you could say it was a form of protest. That's because two men kissing in public is exceptionally rare, even in liberal cities like New York City.

    Interestingly, I see female-female affection - even if platonic - as anti-gay. That's because it suggests that women are exploiting a double standard and then using it to oppress gay men. This kiss between the Russian women could have been set up by the IOC.

    It should be asked: why aren't two male athletes kissing? Answer: because there is a homophobic double standard which women exploit to oppress us gay guys. Don't fall for the trick of fake gay advocacy which many women are famous for.

    Posted by: Brian | Aug 18, 2013 10:57:34 AM

  3. meanwhile - the other two just stand there holding their woodpeckers.

    Posted by: Dan Mc | Aug 18, 2013 11:03:17 AM

  4. What on earth is Brian smoking?

    Posted by: bollox | Aug 18, 2013 11:07:16 AM

  5. Don't let the media's interpretation of this kiss lull you into a sense of progress. Only when two men kiss is it progress. Why aren't any of the male athletes kissing each other?

    Homophobes fear kisses between men, not women.

    Posted by: Brian | Aug 18, 2013 11:12:48 AM

  6. They showed more resolute than athletes from the free world. Don't conform to injustice, however distant of foreign it may be.

    Posted by: Rafael | Aug 18, 2013 11:15:22 AM

  7. I think it's probably a protest kiss. In the link in the first comment there are only two photos, both showing kisses, but the other kiss looked more like a celebratory one. This one looks intentionally romantic, and you can tell from the look on the other two runners' faces that they seem surprised at it. My guess is it was meant to be a clear protest, but one they can wiggle out of if they get in trouble.

    While I don't think it's clear either way yet, I do think we can all agree that Rick/Jason/Brian/Alan's explanation that it was an anti-gay gesture set up by the IOC is beyond stupid as usual.

    Posted by: Brian1 | Aug 18, 2013 11:15:50 AM

  8. When two guys kiss on the podium, call me.

    Posted by: Brian | Aug 18, 2013 11:24:15 AM

  9. "I see female-female affection - even if platonic - as anti-gay."

    Oh, please. Time for a gut check on your misogyny.

    Posted by: CKip | Aug 18, 2013 11:25:35 AM

  10. The failure to boycott is going to mean Russia will be getting away with blatant discrimination against a portion of the world's population. You'll recall the rainbow nail polish incident with the Swedish Emma Tregaro - if you don't then her action brought international attention as a protest against Russia's gay "propaganda" law. The IOC and her own Swedish officials admonished her for the gesture citing it as a violation of the competition's code of conduct. She was forced to remove the nail polish.

    And that's exactly what we're going to see with all attempts by straight and gay athletes to identify with gay equality. Kiss your male teammate -as though you mean it- on Soviet TV during the games and your own country will and can strip you of your participation for violating Russia's laws. There won't be any rainbow flags or pins, you won't hear American athletes speak out during interviews for gay equality or against Russia's bigoted gay laws. Ego and pride, for the athlete, is far more important than the silly protecting of a small minority group of pansies.

    We could have stopped this earlier with a full boycott but no... we have to go to those games to show those Russians that gay athletes can win and have a place in this world. Well, you got your wish and now the gay movement has been set back badly and other countries will enact the same laws "to protect the children" and gays will be murdered, mutilated, lose jobs, housing, their livelihoods all because we refused to stand up for our own community. You get what you pay for.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Aug 18, 2013 11:29:29 AM

  11. Russians kiss on the lips as greeting

    Posted by: MArk | Aug 18, 2013 12:01:24 PM

  12. The 1992 Unified Team, Men's Gymnastics Team had a male on male love fest (lip kiss) after each event.

    Posted by: Frank | Aug 18, 2013 12:25:57 PM

  13. Mike Ryan,

    So true. The gay community has been totally ineffective on this issue. Where are the people-in-the-streets protests? Gay men are wimps.

    Posted by: Brian | Aug 18, 2013 12:41:19 PM

  14. I was protesting on the streets this week with a couple of thousand other people, @Brian, so speak for yourself.

    Posted by: Ernie | Aug 18, 2013 12:56:05 PM

  15. Hmmm. Hard to say, but it sort of looks like protest kisses to me. The athletes must be very aware of the backdrop...

    Posted by: Jeff | Aug 18, 2013 1:12:30 PM

  16. rather than ask why there aren't two men kissing (obvious answer, because there are no men on this women's team. duh) how about you post a defiant video of yourself kissing another man.

    although, to be able to do that one must first be able to get a man. which this site's troll has yet been unable to do.

    these young ladies are superb. well met, sisters.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Aug 18, 2013 1:18:42 PM

  17. Brian: Not even two men, Russians kiss in the lips constantly, no matter if they are two women or two men. If you see gymnastics, the guys kiss each other to congratulate, it's something cultural

    Posted by: jjose712 | Aug 18, 2013 1:23:55 PM

  18. "meanwhile - the other two just stand there holding their woodpeckers."

    Check out the video. Everyone kissed everyone. They didn't "just stand there" any more than the other two did. This is a still photo catching one of the kisses - if you watch the video, they are all quite casual. It sure doesn't look anything like a protest or political statement.

    Posted by: Lymis | Aug 18, 2013 2:02:17 PM

  19. I wouldn't make too much of this.

    Posted by: Matt27 | Aug 18, 2013 2:50:04 PM

  20. Come on people, educate yourself just a little bit, kissing on the lips has different meanings and Russians are not westerners. An example:

    (A worker is thanking a patriotic soldier etc.)

    Posted by: SAYTHETRUTH | Aug 18, 2013 5:17:52 PM

  21. I don't think it is uncommon for Russian males to kiss each other on the lips. I remember in past international athletic competitions seeing Russian coaches and athletes kissing each other on the lips. I don't really know how common the practice is, but it is not unknown.

    Posted by: andrew | Aug 18, 2013 6:19:45 PM

  22. Ummm, hello? I used to get so steamed up after watching Alexei Nemov dominate in gymnastics and then kiss all his male teammates. Russians kiss each other on the lips, no story here. Once again, America confirms its prudishness.

    Posted by: D.R.H. | Aug 18, 2013 11:48:35 PM

  23. And Brian, fire your shrink. He has you on the wrong meds sweety. You're f*cking bonkers.

    Posted by: D.R.H. | Aug 18, 2013 11:49:43 PM

  24. All I can say is that people are idiots if they think they were protesting the gay law. Culturally Eastern Europeans (male and female) kiss each other on the lips. If anyone ever watched any sporting event before would know that male and female teammates are constantly kissing each other on the lips. It is similar to when male football, baseball, and basketball ball players give each other a pat on the ass say "way to go" or "hang in there".

    Posted by: Jonathan | Aug 19, 2013 10:29:49 AM

  25. Ordinarily, women in a lip lock or a man and a woman in a lip lock wouldn't get a second look from this married, queer man. So, I must confess, that when I saw this photo of Russian athletes, Kseniya Ryzhova and Tatyana Firova, in a lip lock at Moscow's WACs, I was overtaken by rainbows of glee and have been oozing Skittles from every orifice in delight, somewhat to the chagrin of my lovely, loving husband.

    Posted by: Koskalaka Maricón | Aug 19, 2013 11:00:33 AM

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