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Olympic Snowboarder and Sochi Hopeful Seth Wescott Slams Russia's Anti-Gay Laws

U.S. Olympic gold medal-winning snowboarder Seth Wescott, who hopes to qualify for the Sochi Games, blasted the Olympic Committee for its handling of Russia and its anti-gay laws, the AP reports:

WescottWescott on Wednesday criticized the International Olympic Committee for selecting Sochi to host the 2014 Games, saying the city hadn't proven it had the ability to hold the event. The new Russian law that prohibits the promotion of "nontraditional" sexual relations could further sully the completion, he said.

"The human rights stuff that's going on, there's a potential for it to be an incredibly negatively-overshadowed Olympics," he told The Associated Press.

Wescott also says he is friends with snowboarders who are gay:

"They're wonderful human beings, and I think for them to be discriminated against is a crime," he said. "They should be able to be who they are and compete proudly. They represent our country incredibly well and they don't need to be the object of that kind of criticism and negativity."

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  1. At present, I am reading a book about a Russian woman who was caught up in Joseph Stalin's infamous Purge back in the 1940's. People were sent to cold, bleak Siberian prisons for the least little infraction. The author told of a fellow female prisoner who was sentenced to Siberia for simply naming her pet goats Lenin and Stalin, in a non-mocking manner. Insanity! Stalin killed over 20 million of his own Russian citizens.
    With Putin in command, things haven't changed a great deal, especially with the atrocious anti-gay laws.
    Russia has a history of barbaric behaviour and it's still carrying this dreadful history in the 21st Century. So sad. People must continue to demonstrate against the monstrous conditions in this backward country.

    Posted by: David From Canada | Sep 12, 2013 12:51:00 PM

  2. A real MAN!

    Posted by: litper | Sep 12, 2013 12:54:09 PM

  3. Btw, new IOC president is a homophobe and Putin's friend! We must oust him from that position!!!

    Posted by: litper | Sep 12, 2013 12:54:55 PM

  4. My new favorite athlete

    Posted by: Stephen | Sep 12, 2013 1:08:59 PM

  5. Oh yeah, Putin is JUST LIKE Stalin.

    Please, just STFU.

    Posted by: Just sayin | Sep 12, 2013 1:22:15 PM

  6. @litper IOC heads are chosen by secret ballot of upper echelon committee members, not unlike the popes are chosen. 'we' have zero input into the matter, so barring death, who we got is who we got, period.

    Posted by: bandanajack | Sep 12, 2013 1:36:05 PM

  7. Excellent.

    Posted by: Matt27 | Sep 12, 2013 1:59:11 PM

  8. then we must accept that IOC is an openly anti-gay hate group and treat them like that

    Posted by: litper | Sep 12, 2013 2:02:38 PM

  9. Putin is worse than Stalin.

    Posted by: litper | Sep 12, 2013 2:02:58 PM

  10. Thank you Seth Wescott for your positive comments and good luck at the Olympics.

    Posted by: andrew | Sep 12, 2013 2:12:43 PM

  11. @Litper, Putin may be a bad person but to call him worse than Stalin is just crazy talk!

    Posted by: Howard | Sep 12, 2013 2:23:24 PM

  12. Go Seth!
    Thanks for standing up and speaking out for equality.

    There are no sidelines when human rights are being violated.

    Posted by: SERIOUSLY | Sep 12, 2013 5:48:09 PM

  13. Thank you. Now go win.

    Posted by: Randy | Sep 12, 2013 6:29:40 PM

  14. The best thing he could do, as well as the rest of us, is to boycott the Russian Olympics and all those sponsors who support it - from McDonalds, to Geico, MSNBC and the entire list. Don't buy anything from any of them. Place your money in the hands of vendors and sponsors who support equality. Don't buy MSNBC's premium Olympic channel broadcasts - let them flail in the wind and don't support any athlete that intends on being there - especially Johnny Weir.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Sep 12, 2013 8:32:31 PM

  15. @Mike Ryan: Did you know that 29% of the US Olympic Team revenue comes from sponsorships? When you boycott Olympic sponsors (who have zero say on which cities get to host the Olympics), you actually hurt LGB athletes and allies. You also hurt companies here in the US that support our community.

    How exactly does that help LGB people in Russia?

    Posted by: alex | Sep 12, 2013 9:59:24 PM

  16. It's not like the sponsoring companies will stop their support for athletes because of any boycotts. They will insist on future Olympic sites only in countries with laws against discrimination, not the opposite. They don't support anything because they like sports or something. They do it so positive associations accrue to their products. Being associated with bigotry and oppression and anti-modern attitudes is the opposite of what they are paying for.

    Posted by: emjayay | Sep 13, 2013 2:04:02 AM

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