IOC’s Dick Pound: Russia’s ‘Anti-Gay Stuff’ is Not So Bad

Canadian IOC member Dick Pound told Metro Canada that the media is not only overreacting to Russia's "anti-gay stuff", they're losing interest:

Pound“Nobody has got anything else to write about and for some reason as they have sort of moved away from the anti-gay stuff — I think it’s not drawing the kind of attention that they wanted,” Pound said.

Pound said other countries have “far harsher laws” regarding homosexuals than Russia and little is written on that.

“In Malaysia, you can be put to death. In Nigeria, you can be put in jail for God knows how long,” Pound said. “So it’s a target of convenience with respect to Russia, not that I approve of the law, but putting it on a scale of 1-10 of odious laws, it’s not way up there near 10.”

Metro Canada reports that Pound also suggested that the media's new focus on terrorism in Russia is because they're tiring of the anti-gay controversy.

Comments

  1. C.J. says

    True, and if the Olympics were to be held in Nigeria or Malaysia then the same stink would be being made. This guy may be missing the point JUST a little. Ugh.

  2. bernard says

    Honestly I don’t care about the Winter Olympics in Russia, anti-gay or not. I’m just not interested in winter sports, I hate the cold. Can’t wait till this blows over so we can start talking about sexy Brazilian Rio 2016!

  3. hugo says

    The Olympics are governed by a bunch of corrupt and coddled corporate shills and their paid minions, former athletes who understand today’s world and its athletes as much as great-grandparents understand their texting and tweeting progeny. The IOC’s motto these days is ‘fatter, older, sillier’.

  4. Pete says

    Pound’s comments are laughable, not least because his own self interests depend on a successful Olympics movement. He and others on the IOC need to deflect the criticism because their main concern is the money they can make by hosting. They don’t care about human rights, just sponsorships and media sales.

  5. northalabama says

    yes, uninformed and uncaring canadian ioc leader, i always look to malaysia and nigeria when benchmarking policies for human rights.

    since malaysia and nigeria treat gays less respectfully than other countries, when any other country violates human rights, that makes it acceptable…wait…what?

  6. DKDAn says

    I understand the reasoning..its like saying the spanish inquisition wasn’t so bad if you compare to the Holocaust; and Apartheid wasn’t so bad as long as you are comparing it to Slavery…right?

  7. andrew says

    Which one of these isn’t even remotely like the others? The Spanish Inquisition, Slavery, Russian Anti-Gay Propaganda Law, The Holocaust, Apartheid. DKTAN, ease up on the rhetoric and put things in their proper perspective.

  8. Mark Twain says

    This guy is a Montreal, Quebec, Canada, lawyer who has piloted the billions dollars sales of TV rights by the IOC since the 80’s turning the IOC from a pony show into the huge circus it is now.
    Despite being a canadian lawyer he doesn’t seem to care a bit about human rights, he cares only about helping the IOC racking billions $$$$ and he has probably billed the IOC millions $$$$ doing so (only a guess).
    The IOC now loves to sell the games to dictatorships (China, Russia) since dictatorships are willing to pay through the roof to show off and they can do so since there is no public control over spending in these countries ( has anybody challenged tsar Putin over his alleged 50 billion spending on His games?). This multinational circus enjoys NGO status, exploits athletes and taxpayers while paying ZERO taxes, it should be shut down.
    Mr Pound has missed a great opportunity to shut his disdainful mouth.

  9. Bearingdown says

    @ Andrew; – If you like Sesame Street exercises so much, maybe you should spend more of your time watching childrens’ TV shows and less time offending gay people on sites like this…

  10. andrew says

    @DKDAN: I understand sarcasm and rhetoric. However, you seemed to be implying that you disagree with the point the IOC official was making. Mr. Pound was making the point that Russia’s anti gay laws are no where near as horrific as what exists in much of the rest of the world and little is being said about that. There is scarcely a nation in all of Africa and much of Asia that doesn’t have far more offensive and even horrific anti gay laws and practices. He was calling on folks to put Russia’s homophobia in perspective.

  11. DKDan says

    @andrew
    Just because something isn’t as horrific as the terrible laws in Africa does not make them better
    I am not quite sure your purpose of defending these statements or Russia only imprisoning gays versus killing them. The reason this is current news today is obviously the upcoming olypics while Nigeria and Uganda have been consistent topics on this blog and the news in general
    Why would you defend this all? All the countries you mentioned have terrible anti gay laws just because Russia’s aren’t ‘as harsh yet’ makes them terrible but not ‘as terrible’ what exactly is your point?

  12. BearingDown says

    @ Andrew; – I never said you weren’t gay; whether you are or not is irrelevant. Saying “…maybe you should spend … less time offending gay people on sites like this…” in no way says or even implies ‘you-are-not-gay’. I don’t care if you are or aren’t.

    IMO you should lurk more because you’re coming accross offensive. I’m wondering if someone has appropriated “Andrew” or maybe there is more than one posting on Towleroad.

  13. andrew says

    @DKDAN: I am not defending Russian anti gay laws, just putting them in perspective. Russia is not nearly as horrific in their homophobia as most of Africa and much of Asia. I disagree with your first sentence. “Just because something isn’t as horrific as the terrible laws in Africa does not make them better”. Yes it does. There are varying degrees of evil and criminality. I am agreeing with Mr. Pound that we must keep things in perspective.

  14. andrew says

    @DKDAN: I’m neither. Not semantics at all. Solid content. Just like I won’t be put in the position of defending Russia’s anti gay policies, neither will I compare them with the far more horrific homophobes of Africa and Asia.

  15. andrew says

    @BEARINGDOWN: What does “lurk more” mean? No one has appropriated “Andrew”. You and a few others may find my views “offensive” because you expect everyone to have the same nuanced opinions on LGBT issues. I have a negative reaction to PC types who think we should all march in locked steps on issues. I express my thoughts and opinions on issues as I see them. I don’t worry about following the PC types on what they think should be the party line.

  16. BearingDown says

    @ Andrew; – You are defending Russia, by saying it’s not it’s not that bad. Which leads me to ask, since you seem to be putting these issues on a likert scale, where on 1/10 do you find Russia’s anti-gay laws and scance? Factor in negligence by police to investigate anti-gay crimes, and violence against gays by police and other people in official uniforms? And more importantly, where do you see the number you selected sliding, higher or lower? Add how rapidly too if you’ve got a hunch…

    You ARE comparing anti-gay policies “with the far more horrific homophobes of Africa and Asia.”
    LOOK AT YOUR OWN TEXT:
    “Mr. Pound was making the point that Russia’s anti gay laws are no where near as horrific as what exists in much of the rest of the world…”
    “There is scarcely a nation in all of Africa and much of Asia that doesn’t have far more offensive and even horrific anti gay laws and practices.”

    Looks to me like DKDAN got you.

  17. BearingDown says

    Lurk more means read more and comment less.

    Typo* I meant to say “laws and sTance”, not laws and scance.

    In my experience the people who hate PC so stridently are usually the ones with no vulnerability to speak of anyway. They’re usually haters looking for a free-pass.

  18. andrew says

    @BEARINGDOWN: Read my post under your headline: LOOK AT YOUR OWN TEXT: What do you disagree with in those two quotes? This whole debate started when, in my first post, I said that Mr. Pounds comments didn’t sound “unreasonable”. I certainly stand by that. Perspective is what is needed.

  19. BearingDown says

    @ Andrew; – Saying his comments don’t sound unreasonable is to say that his comments sound reasonable. Which means you aggree with him…

    I’ll answer your questions when you answer mine, how about that?

  20. andrew says

    @BEARINGDOWN: What does “lurk” mean? What does ” laws and sTance” mean? When you say that “people who hate PC so stridently are usually the ones with no vulnerability to speak of anyway” What does that mean? It sounds like a complement. But you follow it with “They’re usually haters looking for a free pass”. I don’t want or need anybody’s free pass. I already have the freedom to express my views.

  21. BearingDown says

    Since Andrew says perspective is what is needed, I’ll leave any of you reading this with a collection of quotes I lifted from the comments section from the Metro Canada article. I think they’re the best quotes and reflect most of my attitudes towards this.

    @Andrew, the following should hopefully answer your question. I’m not going to wait for yours as I am not expecting one…

    “True, there are worse countries out there than Russia at the moment in terms of gay rights, but the crimes of one government are not justified or excused because of the crimes of another. Human rights violated anywhere are human rights violated everywhere, and so deserve our universal attention and scorn.”

    “I understand the reasoning..its like saying the Spanish inquisition wasn’t so bad if you compare to the Holocaust; and Apartheid wasn’t so bad as long as you are comparing it to Slavery…right?”

    “…none of those countries are hosting the Olympics. Just because there are worse places to be if you were gay doesn’t mean we shouldn’t talk about the situation in Russia. It is not overblown.”

    “The lack of critical analysis of this situation on the part of the IOC and sponsors shows extreme negligence.”

    “Pound said other countries have “far harsher laws” regarding homosexuals than Russia and little is written on that. Well, we have proof only that Mr. Pound doesn’t read much. He’s right that other countries are worse. The problem with Russia is that gay rights are going backwards.”

    “This is … a conflict of interest since he is paid as a member of the IOC. Shame on Metro for giving publicity to this homophobic windbag.”

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