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Olympic Sponsors and the IOC Could Have Stopped Russia's Anti-Gay Law and Didn't: AUDIO

Michelangelo Signorile reports that Olympic sponsors and the IOC could have stopped Russia's anti-gay law - and didn't:

WordenHuman Rights Watch (HRW) notes that before Sochi was chosen for the 2014 games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and other stakeholders, including American multinational sponsors of the Winter Olympics, as well as NBC Universal, which has the broadcast contract, carefully tracked the path of the legislation, which is a clear violation of the Olympic Charter.

"This piece of legislation worked its way up through the legislative system," Minky Worden, HRW's Director of Global Initiatives, told me in an interview (listen to the full interview below). "The International Olympic Committee, the United States Olympic Committee, the so-called top corporate sponsors -- Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Procter & Gamble -- these companies all, as [HRW] did, tracked the progress of this law."

"And because it is so clearly in complete violation of the Olympic Charter," she continued, "it's also clear to us at Human Rights Watch that if any of the major Olympic stakeholders who have a hotline to the Kremlin -- because the Olympics are very important to Putin personally, he has a deputy prime minister, [Dmitry] Kozak, who is tasked with making them come off perfectly -- that if any of the Olympic stakeholders, the sponsors who are literally paying for the Games, or the International Olympic Committee, the U.S. Olympic Committee or the other Olympic committees, if they weighed in on this, I don't think this law would have been signed by Putin or passed by the Duma. If they had leaned on [Russia] before the law was signed, it would not have been signed. That is absolutely true."

Listen to Signorile's interview with Worden, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Whatever happens with the Olympics boycott Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Procter & Gamble. Period. They do not care about us at all.

    Posted by: Jeff | Aug 10, 2013 9:59:19 AM

  2. It's way past time for this conversation to be including the involvement of Patriarch Kirill and the Russian Orthodox Church not only in the anti-gay legislation but also the subsequent religious defamation laws. Kirill & the ROC are the true face of evil behind these laws which are in direct violation of the Russian Constitution.

    Posted by: JONES | Aug 10, 2013 10:19:56 AM

  3. @Jeff. Why don't you boycott life? Check out how many subsidiaries each of those companies has.

    Posted by: Chad | Aug 10, 2013 12:10:44 PM

  4. Chad that is true. Especially in regards to P&G. The point is for us to join together in a unified voice and let these corporations know that we value our LGBTQ's lives more (I will presume that includes you) than they value the almighty dollar. That I don't need a coke or a Big Mac when I can have a Pepsi or a Whopper, or whatever your variant is.

    Posted by: Jeff | Aug 10, 2013 12:15:52 PM

  5. @ Jones, Spot on! Any that would seek to understand the cause and effect in Russia; where it came from, and where it's going, would have to understand the role of the ROC. It is enormously powerful and corrupt. Putin panders to them in return for it's support of him, and his thugs power grab. Russia is a very ill now, riddled with this cancer.

    Posted by: Booka | Aug 10, 2013 12:40:32 PM

  6. This article really hits the mark about how we all dropped the ball on this issue. Fact is that the US will not be boycotting the Olympics, NBC will be broadcasting the games and sponsors will be sponsoring/advertising during the games. It is now up to the IOC, the USOC, the US government & NBC to ensure that athletes, tourists and employees remain safe and that the human rights abuses are reported in a respectful & diplomatic way to all of the world. Being a silent ally of the gay community during the Olympics will NOT be acceptable from the athletes or corporate sponsors. If deafening silence is heard, it will be our responsibility to let the athletes, corporate sponsors & NBC know that their true colors have been exposed and will have long term repercussions.

    Posted by: Rick Smith | Aug 10, 2013 12:50:13 PM

  7. This article is ridiculous, and just goes to show the atypical lack of respect the US has for the rest of the world.

    Under the guise of World Police we force our corporate interests on everyone, and are hated for it.

    Boycotting pure evil sh*t like McDonald's and Coke - as if people should EVER buy that crap.

    The screaming hypocrisy is an ongoing sick joke. Silly little corporate media tools.

    Posted by: iPuke | Aug 10, 2013 1:47:57 PM

  8. IPuke;

    What a sad, sickened, homophobe you are. By any other name, a moron is still a moron.

    Posted by: Dean | Aug 10, 2013 2:36:29 PM

  9. Jones and Booka, you have summed up quite succinctly the problem with Russia.

    The Russian Orthodox Church was and still is bastion of extreme reaction and conservatism throughout Russian history. Russian culture is firmly based in alcoholism.

    Mix the two together and you've got a cultural toxic stew.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Aug 10, 2013 4:53:45 PM

  10. I hope most of the above have figured out that the Russian situation is not an ordinary backtrack on rights; it's more a game changeover. Kristellnacht and pogroms come to mind. The point being streaming of assets to political forceover folks.

    It's a little bit more serious than boycotting the Olympics folks. We're confronted with the choice of participating in a new underground railroad or by absence participating in a holocaust of our time, so let's all please put our money where our mouth is and help out if we get a quiet ask?

    Posted by: rdiac | Aug 11, 2013 6:30:09 AM

  11. It's so refreshing to see comments which accurately point to the Russian Orthodox Church - ! With all of the recent 'media' conversation taking place, the ROC is being left completely alone - untouched. Everyone seems to fear pointing to the heart of this entire sad story, already having forgotten the role of the Religious Right here in the USA both past and very much present. The Russian and other Eastern Orthodox Leadership are at the Head of the Class, including the Greek OC! Putin - Putin - Putin, he's an ass, as corrupt as the ROC!

    Posted by: RexT | Aug 18, 2013 6:11:43 AM

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