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Ben Cohen, Hudson Taylor, and Cyd Zeigler Talk to Thomas Roberts About Gays, Russia, and Sochi: VIDEO

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Rugby star and LGBT ally Ben Cohen, Outsports' Cyd Zeigler, and Athlete Ally's Hudson Taylor joined Thomas Roberts on MSNBC this morning to talk about the rising outrage over Russia's anti-gay laws, the Sochi 2014 Games in that country, and how athletes and allies should respond.

Check out the segment, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Again, let me repeat this - you CANNOT turn to those who play sports and ask them to boycott the glory they would achieve at any Olympics. These are NOT the people who should be interviewed. The truth about the Olympics is money money money. Russia will earn billions of dollars by hosting the Olympics. Boycott the Olympics - rip the American, British, Spain and all the other European countries out of the hands of Russia by boycotting will *I promise you* cause such fear and consternation by the Russian people that they will force their homophobic politicians out of office and stop the gay discrimination. Russia will lose the upcoming hosting duties of the World Cup. HURT them where it hurts most - prestige and pocketbook.

    All the athletes are concerned with is their own spotlight and egos. Boycott the Olympics.

    The IOC should remove Russia from the equation and move the Olumpics to another country.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Aug 5, 2013 1:44:55 PM


  2. I think all the athletes should be demanding the IOC announce the withdrawal of the Olympics from Russia and move them to another country that doesn't discriminate. I don't want to see a boycott but I don't want to see the Olympics in Russia.

    Posted by: Barry | Aug 5, 2013 2:00:38 PM


  3. Kudos to Hudson Taylor for expanding the conversation to Russian citizens and not just Olympic athletes and visitors. It would have made a more interesting segment had NBC allowed a pro-boycott POV.

    I didn't realize Russia had been awarded the 2018 World Cup. Now there is PLENTY of time to find an alternative host country for that.

    Posted by: Dastius Krazitauc | Aug 5, 2013 2:03:49 PM


  4. One thing: nobody makes money out of the Olympics. NOBODY. It always runs at a huge loss. What you get from the Olympics is NATIONAL and INTERNATIONAL PRESTIGE and that is precisely what turning this event into a massive Gay Protest event, with hundreds of visitors clubbed by police and arrested on camera as the whole world watches, will threaten.

    Don't boycott them. EMBARRASS THEM.

    Posted by: Chaz | Aug 5, 2013 2:32:22 PM


  5. McDonalds makes money from the Olympics, Visa makes money from the Olympics, NBC makes money from the Olympics. The athletes are not the people to ask about CONDITIONS IN PUTIN'S RUSSIA. We should be talking about secondary and tertiary boycotts. We should not be opposing any good faith efforts to ACT; stop justifying INACTION!

    Posted by: Vince Quackenbush | Aug 5, 2013 2:42:48 PM


  6. Don't boycott the Olympics, HIJACK them and make it ALL ABOUT GAY RIGHTS.

    Posted by: Chaz | Aug 5, 2013 2:48:38 PM


  7. I'm shocked, shocked, I tell you, that NBC did NOT interview a person who supports a boycott of an event that NBC is spending billions of $ to broadcast.

    Posted by: Joseph2 | Aug 5, 2013 2:50:26 PM


  8. NBC will be 'renting' camera and coverage from Russia.

    Russia cameramen will only show what they are told to. by government.

    Wearing rainbow pins and carrying banners only works if the world, and most importantly, Russians, see it.

    But they won't. You can bet the collective farm on THAT!

    Moving the Olympics, banning Russia from participating, is the ONLY solution to this mess.

    I am sure the people of Canada would only be all too happy to have the games return. It was only 3 years ago, and having been to Whistler as recently as last November I can assure you their venues are still in place, still able to accomodate.

    Posted by: bernie | Aug 5, 2013 3:03:42 PM


  9. Ponder this: "Russian police have confirmed that a gay man was beaten to death in Volgograd on Thursday... because he admitted to being gay ... They beat him. They shoved beer bottles in his anus. They tried to set him on fire. Then they crushed his head with a heavy stone."

    Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, has declared war on homosexuals. So far, the world has mostly been silent..."

    Why on earth would ANY athlete want to go to a country that promotes such hate and criminal acts against a minority? BOYCOTT the RUSSIAN OLYMPICS!

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Aug 5, 2013 3:07:19 PM


  10. I hope EVERYBODY who goes wears a rainbow pin

    Posted by: t | Aug 5, 2013 3:13:47 PM


  11. Cyd Zeigler has ALWAYS been a cowering, whining opponent of ANY gay activism. He has NO credibility.

    Posted by: Skeptical Cicada | Aug 5, 2013 3:26:59 PM


  12. @BERNIE - You make a very interesting point. But are you sure that the coverage is rented? I don't know how these things work. Why wouldn't NBC (or whoever) just fly their own people and equipment out there to report on the olympics instead of "renting" the coverage?

    Posted by: Lucas H | Aug 5, 2013 3:52:29 PM


  13. It is a measure of how out of touch with reality some of you are to even imagine that the US or any other country would seriously consider boycotting an Olympics over any gay-related issue, when homophobia remains rampant in every country, with, at best, only half the population in the US even believing in legal equality for gays.

    The only time the US boycotted an Olympics was over a military invasion.....so it certainly is not going to over a gay rights issue.....and neither is any other country.

    Nor is any athlete going to sacrifice their chance to win an Olympic medal over it, including those who are gay.

    A complete waste of time to go on discussing this.

    Posted by: Rick | Aug 5, 2013 4:54:07 PM


  14. RICK I think you are too dismissive of a powerful subset of people who do favor gay equality and who also happen to be big movers and shakers in the world, especially in the US, Canada and Western Europe. Mom and Dad and Joe the Plumber might be sick of hearing about the subject but they're not going to really be active enemies, after all any man who has not seen the beauty in some men from time to time is not fully conscious. Gay feeling is deep in the world, it is in the shape of the universe. It has huge potential to become a gigantic cause celeb. You might wait and see on this one. Maybe love yourself a little more...I don't know...I've always appreciated your posts.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Aug 5, 2013 6:29:10 PM


  15. Since when does the IOC give a damn about gays?

    I thought the Gay Games were called the Gay Games because the bigots of the IOC didn't want the word "gay" used in the same breath with the word "olympics."

    In fact, didn't the IOC take legal actions against what used to be called the Gay Olympics?

    Were we not told to cut up our VISA cards because VISA was a sponsor of the Olympics?

    Posted by: AG | Aug 5, 2013 6:56:43 PM


  16. I can't help but think that the athletes saying not to boycott are doing it out of self-interest...

    Posted by: Choochoo | Aug 5, 2013 7:42:55 PM


  17. Ben Cohen. Come out. This act is getting tired.

    Posted by: Josh | Aug 5, 2013 10:51:40 PM


  18. Ben Cohen. Come out. This act is getting tired.

    Posted by: Josh | Aug 5, 2013 10:51:40 PM


  19. These athletes are right, The Olympics will happen and a lot of queens will have a hissy fit. They are not the global power they think they are.

    Posted by: GB | Aug 5, 2013 10:55:08 PM


  20. Thomas Roberts probably it difficult to concentrate with Hudson Taylor in the group. His voice went up a few octaves.

    Posted by: Jake | Aug 5, 2013 11:02:14 PM


  21. Ben Cohen likes T-shirts, but he can't handle real bullies-- Like the Russians. He'd rather pose in underwear and make a business out of being a gay cock tease.

    Posted by: GArth | Aug 5, 2013 11:11:33 PM


  22. I'm boycotting all things Russian no matter what anyone says. Especially the O-limp-pigs. The IOC is corrupt, homophobic and overrun with fascists anyway.

    Posted by: Queer Supremacist | Aug 6, 2013 12:12:09 AM


  23. @Queer Supemacist:
    I am afraid you are exactly right.

    Posted by: Anom | Aug 6, 2013 12:40:16 AM


  24. Josh: Ben Cohen is straight, and has two kids with his wife. Is it so hard to believe that straight guy is on our side?

    Garth: yes he's selling his hotness to people who want to buy it. He's also been a great ally to gays, so why the hell are you so angry at him?

    If the discussion is about Russia's horrible laws against gays and you decide to start trash talking a nice gay ally like Ben then what does that tell about you?

    Posted by: kode | Aug 6, 2013 12:44:03 AM


  25. So how, exactly, does my refusing to take myself (and my money) to Russia "punish" nineteen year-old athletes? A spectator boycott would still impact Russia financially without threatening athlete participation.

    Posted by: AR-HillBilly | Aug 6, 2013 1:12:41 AM


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