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Bob Costas: Russian Government 'Is Hostile To Gay Rights'

Bob Costas took a moment during NBC's coverage last night to comment on the state of human rights in Russia, one the first times during the Sochi Olympics wherein the network has acknowledged the issue on air.

Said the newscaster:

The Sochi games have gone much better than many feared and predicted. So far security has held fast, venues have been praised, athletes and spectators have almost unanimously cited the warmth and hospitality of their hosts. All of which is truly wonderful but should not serve to obscure a larger and more lasting truth.

While in many significant ways, Russian citizens have better lives than Soviet citizens of a generation ago, there’s is still a government which imprisons dissidents, is hostile to gay rights, sponsors and supports a vicious regime in Syria - and that’s just a partial list.

The Sochi games are Vladimir Putin's games, from their inception to their conclusion, and all points in between. And if they are successful on their own terms, as appears to be the case, then at least in some corners it will help to burnish the image of a regime with which much of the world takes significant issue. No amount of Olympic glory can mask those realities any more than a biathlon gold medal, though hard-earned and deeply satisfying as it is, can put out the fires in Kiev.

 Watch the full clip here.

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  1. I remember c. 1990 Bob Costas interviewing one on the men who performed in the vile "Men on Film" skits on the TV show "In Living Color" and completely disregarding any notion that the skits might perpetuate hate of gay people. He was definitely not an ally then, and probably isn't now.

    Posted by: sporter | Feb 23, 2014 8:04:28 PM

  2. It was probably the last thing on his mind. Honestly.

    Posted by: Blake | Feb 24, 2014 12:59:28 AM

  3. NBC's way of broadcasting every Olympic event has not waivered since the network took it over from ABC despite the avalanche of criticisms with every telecast. And its predictable their broadcasting style will not change with future Olympics. There is only three alternative choices for American viewing audiences: watch live streams on a mobile device, secure the excellent broadcast feed from the CBC, or boycott the entire corrupt corporate sponsored event altogether.

    Posted by: Sam | Feb 24, 2014 3:39:38 AM

  4. Olympic game were supposed to remain Olympic and not a platform to broadcast whatever right. Costas was in Sochi and does not mean he knows anything about Russia. His opinion was forged before he arrived there. I went there many times and never was bothered by whatever oppression or described dictatorial attitude. I drove within big city and country and was never chased by any police. I have seen many gay and lesbian club or business as much I can see in San Francisco and or Paris. I have been hosted many time by local. I have seen a woman back home from the hospital with her baby...the day after a nurse came to her home and later the doctor came to visit her as well. Obamacare does not provide that. So, may be, it is time for another opinion.

    Posted by: Al | Feb 24, 2014 1:49:24 PM

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