American Apparel’s New ‘Principle 6′ Protest Merchandise Targets Sochi Games, Russia’s Anti-gay Laws

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LGBT organizations All Out and Athlete Ally have partnered with American Apparel in the creation of Principle 6, a new line of merchandise that aims to use the Olympic committee's very own charter language as a way for consumers to stand in solidarity with gay Russians, athletes, and visitors during the upcoming Sochi Games. The New York Times reports:

RoddickThe proponents of the Principle 6 campaign say it can be effective because it will avoid the Olympic commtitee's strictures against political statements or demonstrations by using the committee's own language as a rallying cry for nondiscrimination. The line of Principle 6 branded merchandise will bear a rewritten version of the principle's declaration: "Sport does not discriminate on the grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise." (The paraphrase also serves to avoid another sticky issue: The Olympic committee is zealous in its policing of the use of the words "Olympic" or "Olympics" by anyone other than its members and official sponsors.)

Andre Banks, executive director of All Out, said the merchandise "allows us to deliver the Principle 6 message on a scale that would make the campaign incredibly powerful."

American Apparel is to sell the merchandise online, beginning early Monday morning, and in stores around the world, beginning on Jan. 1. The line will include T-shirts, hoodies, hats, bags and underwear. The proceeds from the sales of the merchandise, minus the costs, "will go to benefit Russian LGBT groups in St. Petersburg and Moscow," Mr. Banks said.

At least four dozen athletes have already committed to working with the campaign including out speed skater Blake Skjellerup, U.S. runner and ally Nick Symmonds, out former Olympic diver Greg Louganis, and tennis player Andy Roddick (above).


  1. Troy says

    Oh get over it Ankerich and get the ugly t-shirt and let people think you’re about something other than being your disgruntled self and yes dear, money is the new Jesus..

  2. Karen says

    This is BRILLIANT! I love it. Thanks to American Apparel’s team, and anyone who made this possible.

    @ Ankerich. Reading the whole article always helps. Or try waiting until later in the day, or until you have had a coffee first, or listened to some abrasive music, or whatever wakes you up if you did read the whole thing.
    “The proceeds from the sales of the merchandise, minus the costs, will go to benefit Russian LGBT groups in St. Petersburg and Moscow…”

  3. andrew says

    This may be confused with an organization “I got your six” which aids military veterans. They use the #6 as their symbol. It comes from the WWI fighter pilots slogan “I got your six” meaning I got your back. The one plane was lined up right behind the guy he was protecting: at 6 on the clock.

  4. graphicjack says

    I actually think it’s a very smart idea… even athletes could wear this at the games… it doesn’t outwardly “promote homosexuality” but it’s clearly flipping the bird to the IOC AND Russia, while still following their strict rules. They can hardly call their own charter as politically motivated without looking like complete hypocrites and while the word “gay” or sexual orientation isn’t included… that “otherwise” speaks volumes.

    @ Andrew… if it was just a number 6, I could maybe see it getting confused with that “I got your six” campaign, but the words of the charter included within the logo and the shirt make the meaning completely obvious. There is absolutely no ambiguity here.

  5. trg says

    I’ve been waiting, and hoping Andy Roddick would do something publicly supportive for us. I knew he was pro-gay rights from many years ago before he became famous through a gay friend, who is related to him.

    One more reason to appreciate him. I think we can expect to hear more from him.

  6. Randy says

    I don’t see myself paying $55 for a zip-up hoodie, even for a cause.

    Lose the zipper, chop the price in half, I’ll consider it.

  7. Nipper says

    Number 6: Where am I?
    Number 2: In the Village.
    Number 6: What do you want?
    Number 2: We want information.
    Number 6: Whose side are you on?
    Number 2: That would be telling. We want information… information… information.
    Number 6: You won’t get it.
    Number 2: By hook or by crook, we will.
    Number 6: Who are you?
    Number 2: The new Number 2.
    Number 6: Who is Number 1?
    Number 2: You are Number 6.
    Number 6: I am not a number, I am a free man.
    ~ The Prisoner (1967-1968)