1. mburke says

    Did you know that most of those US companies people want us to boycott because they are Olympic sponsors also sponsor the US Olympic Committee (USOC)? Roughly 29% of USOC revenue comes from sponsors like Coca-Cola and McDonalds.

    So, if Blake does make the Olympic Team, Coca-Cola will be one of the companies that will help pay his travel expenses. That’s just another reason why boycotting sponsors make little sense.

  2. Bill says

    @mburke: companies donating to the U.S. Olympic Committee won’t help him unless they donate to the commitees for other countries as well – a prominent maple leaf on a wall suggested that he’s possibly Canadian (plus his pronunciation of various English words).

  3. Mike Ryan says

    To redeem themselves all the American commercial sponsors could EASILY fund every openly gay athlete. That would certainly show their support of the gay community, their own commitment to equality and their presence and support of the Olympics would be more readily accepted. As it stands now Blake will probably not be allowed to participate as long as he wears the pin or speaks out in support of gay people and the desire for a medal will overshadow his desire to wear any gay pin – that and the IOC’s threat to evict him from participating will result in the pin’s disappearance.

    As far as I’m concerned I’m boycotting the Olympics.

  4. Ray K says

    Blake competes for New Zealand (that explains his accent, etc.) but trains in Calgary, Alberta (that explains the prominent Maple Leaf in the video).

    It seems odd that these facts were left out of the story.

    And why did some comment writers speculate without doing a simple fact check?

  5. dean says

    LCR’s; I hate LGBTs trying to tell private companies whom they can and cannot discriminate against. Russia AND Coca-Cola have Rights too!

    All Other Gays; Human Rights trump corporate profits.

    What’s wrong with this picture?

    If you said Self-Loathing Republicans – You Win!

  6. Bill says

    @Ray K: “possibly Canadian” does not mean definitely Canadian, and there was no reason to look into it further given that the point was that contributions to the U.S. Olympic Committee by corporate sponsors did not seem relevant.

  7. mburke says

    I admit that I made the assumption that a story on an athlete on a US-based site would be a US athlete. That the guy is from New Zealand is a pretty huge fact that should have been in the text.

    Regardless, my point wasn’t about a single LGB athlete. It was to point out that boycotting an Olympic sponsor might hurt more than help. It certainly hurts the LGBT employees who work for Coke.

    FYI: Coca-Cola is listed as a corporate sponsor of the Canadian Olympic Team. New Zealand doesn’t have a list of sponsors posted on their Olympic Committee website.

  8. Thomas Cardellino says

    Let’s not overestimate the power of the LGBTI community, okay? Do you really think a boycott of corporate sponsors will put a dent in their profits deeper than a dust particle would cause? One of the noble reasons for boycotts is primarily to keep the egregious nature of wrongdoers in the media and make citizens worldwide aware of the atrocities committed, in this instance, by homophobe Putin, the oxymoronic “elected dictator” of Russia, and his equally homophobic rubber stamp Duma. When Cesar Chavez successfully ran his boycott of grapes because of slave-labor wages and living conditions in that industry, he also had the direct human connection and political influence with the actual people who were pivotal in getting grapes to the marketplace. No such power exists concerning the Hitlerian Putin Olympics. I certainly will try my best to boycott any sponsors of the Sochi Olympics of whom I am aware. So, the enacting of a boycott is essential and needs to flood the media outlets. But since it is highly unlikely that the corrupt International Olympic Committee cares about LGBTI rights or even our survival or existence more than it cherishes its Champaign and caviar, and given that the US Olympic Committee is a feckless head-nodder, we LGBTI folks and our straight allies should do all they can to support Olympic athletes who share our status and our beliefs. Once again, I’ll point out that Tommy Hilfiger controls the uniform designs of the US Olympic team until 2020. He should find it incumbent upon himself to do justice to his worldwide LGBTI customer base and our straight allies to design uniforms that incorporate some form of Rainbow Flag colors. His company’s website:

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