US Sen. Chuck Schumer Calls Vladimir Putin “Schoolyard Bully”, Wants Rainbow Flag At Olympics

Chuck Schumer
Last week, Democratic U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer publicly ridiculed Russian president Vladimir Putin over his support of the country's recent anti-gay legislation, calling him a "schoolyard bully". RiaNovosti reports that, yesterday, during an episode of MSNBC's Morning Joe, Schumer expanded on his critical remarks, and called for LGBT athletes participating in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi to wave rainbow flags:

"When we march initially, all the countries should wave the multicolored flag for gay rights. That would be pretty embarrassing for Putin, let our athletes participate and still take a stand."

Schumer's words sought to address questions as to whether the United States or the International Olympic Commission should boycott Russia for any upcoming games, including the ones scheduled for 2014. "All these athletes train for so long," he said, adding that, "standing up to Putin right now is important because he’s a bully." 

"He resents being an old KGB guy, being brought up when the Soviet Union and the US went head to head…He resents that Russia is no longer the major power in the world that it used to be. Its population, of course, with all the states – Ukraine, all the Baltic states, the east Asian states gone — they’re no longer a big power."

Sochi Olympic Rings
The Democratic Senator has a previous record of supporting LGBT rights. However accurate, promising, or potentially inspiring his remarks may be, it is still worth noting that the Russian Interior Ministry has stated that the country's anti-gay "propaganda" law will be enforced during the games. Both the IOC and US government have announced that they are working towards a solution that will protect LGBT athletes, coaches, and spectators attending the games. No word has yet been released as to how successful these entities have been as of late. 

The White House has previously announced that it will be boycotting a summit meeting being held by Putin next month in Moscow. Unfortunately, this boycott surrounds Russia's refusal to hand over controversial whistleblower Edward Snowden, according to RiaNovosti. This boycott should certainly prove disheartening to anyone hoping that Putin and President Obama will be able to reach any sort of viable compromise in the near future. 


  1. MaryM says


    I am growing ever more disgusted at the constant refrain of ‘The athletes train so hard’

    Who cares?

    Their ability to win a medal is so irrelevant compared to the fascist persecution of 10,000,000 Russian LGBT people.

    Any athlete (gay or straight) who does not wave a rainbow flag and protest loudly at the fascist persecution of LGBT people in Russia deserves utter contempt and condemnation for collaborating with fascism.

    These Olympics have been so utterly tainted that any other response is inadequate.

  2. Will says

    OK boys, get ready for the Russian propaganda machine to kick in on the internet near you.

    Russian authorities are starting to mount a counter attack on all of this silly controversy. The basic theme is “the homopropaganda law” hurts no one, it is there only to “protect the children”.

    You can be homosexual in Russia, no problem? Other countries have a worse attitude towards LBGT people, so why don’t the liberal activists go after them?

    Poor Russia/Putin is being attacked by the corrupt west, who want to make the games about homosexuals and not about sports. Sportsmen have trained a long time, so boycotting isn’t fair to them. The list goes on and on.

    Oh, almost forgot, the Athletes will be fine, don’t worry, etc….

    Now, the IOC is putting pressure back on the Athletes, telling them if they do anything LBGT supportive they could be subject to the law. Does that mean stripping them of a medal? Fines, jail and deportation? Spectators will be the ones affected, but you won’t her about them much.

    ALL of this BS is designed to assure the world media, that there won’t be a problem and that this will all die down over the next 6 months.

    Russia websites (that haven’t ben shut down yet) tell a different tale. They have to register as a “official” new website with the government in order to operate.

    “It is most likely that the list of Internet content excluded from minors would be extended. Internet-sites suspected of “homopropaganda” will be black-labeled and blocked on the whole territory of the Russian Federation. The process and means of filtering of the illicit “homopropaganda” up to now are not defined.”

    I encourage you to go click around, while you still can.

    Stephen Fry’s connection to the German games and the Nazi’s was the most challenged push back, so it appears a very sensitive subject for them. They could care less about Chuck Schumer, or so they say.

    If anyone hasn’t seen this video to see what they do and exactly how they do it, you should watch this. Warning it is disturbing.

    Human rights and equal protection for ALL LBGT is not an issue that is going away.

  3. andrew says

    Sen Schumer is a good friend of the LGBT Community. His idea about having nations in the opening march carry a Rainbow Flag, as a sign of their support for equal rights for LGBT people in Russia would be earth shaking. It could happen. The majority of participants in the Winter Olympics are European Nations that are much more supportive of LGBT equality than the world at large. Few African and no Muslim nations, the least open to LGBT equality, participate in the Winter Olympics. Czar Putin and his authoritarian Russian government are in for a major international embarrassment which will color how many nations view and deal with Russia in the future. Let the IOC pick a Muslim Country to host the 2020 Summer Olympics so the world spotlight can shine on the ways Muslim nations suppress and oppress their LGBT people.

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