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Obama: 'There is no Doubt' We Intended to Send Gay Rights Message to Sochi — VIDEO

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In an interview with Bob Costas this evening before the Opening Ceremonies of the Sochi Games, President Obama was asked about the inclusion of openly gay athletes in the official delegation.

Said Obama:

"There is no doubt we wanted to make it very clear that we do not abide by discrimination in anything, including discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. One of the wonderful things about the Olympics is that you are judged by your merit, how good you are regardless of where you come from, what you look like, who you love and that I think is consistent with the spirit of the Olympics."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

As a sad addendum to this interview, Billie Jean King's mother died today at the age of 91. Our thoughts are with her.

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Comments

  1. Brian Boitano's mother also died this week. Bad week for the Sochi delegation.

    Posted by: robroy | Feb 7, 2014 10:31:12 PM


  2. Said Obama: "There is no doubt we wanted to make it very clear that we do not abide by discrimination in anything, including discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. One of the wonderful things about the Olympics is that you are judged by your merit, how good you are regardless of where you come from, what you look like, who you love and that I think is consistent with the spirit of the Olympics."

    Physician, heal thyself? It would be nice if thus were true(r) in the USA, in areas such as EMPLOYMENT!

    Posted by: edude | Feb 7, 2014 11:03:43 PM


  3. Thank you Mr.President, I love you.

    Posted by: Jacob | Feb 7, 2014 11:25:32 PM


  4. I bloody love my President !! This is our decade ... drink it in guys .. we have earned it

    Posted by: MarkBoston | Feb 7, 2014 11:50:33 PM


  5. NBC Edits Out IOC Anti-Discrimination Statement From Opening Ceremony:
    http://deadspin.com/nbc-edits-out-ioc-anti-discrimination-statement-from-op-1518727938

    Posted by: Eugene | Feb 7, 2014 11:51:33 PM


  6. I LOVE OBAMA

    Posted by: Jimmy Palmieri | Feb 8, 2014 12:44:19 AM


  7. President Obama is the best.

    Posted by: Reality | Feb 8, 2014 12:46:15 AM


  8. Did Boitano go to the Olympics? We know that King pulled out and Obama has not replaced her. I would expect Boitano to be in deep mourning and also bow out and that would leave just one lone openly gay delegate and who is she anyway?

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Feb 8, 2014 1:30:59 AM


  9. So he substituted Napolitano for King - is that what I'm hearing? Napolitano is closeted if she is even gay (she's NEVER admitted to being gay, at least publicly). I do admire Obama for his devotion to the gay community and we'll probably never see such devotion from any future President so he has my respect and admiration.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Feb 8, 2014 1:35:08 AM


  10. Ok, so a quick check of Reuters reports that BJK's mother died and Boitano's mother passed away yesterday but he did attend Sochi. So sorry to hear of the deaths. No mention of a replacement for King other than Cahill will take her place in the closing ceremonies. Napolitano was not a replacement but an original participant in the delegation. Thus, the gay community was represented by two openly gay individuals and not the three we had hoped for.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Feb 8, 2014 1:42:28 AM


  11. There is no doubt that one can have any thought they so choose, but what is not acceptable, is using your thought to demonize or thwart another person's - life -

    Anti-gay people are obviously at war with themselves. They make side against their inflammation, but we have been always here and we aren't going anywhere. It's pathetic how they can't live and let live or see the forest for the trees.

    Posted by: Ural | Feb 8, 2014 1:56:17 AM


  12. My five favorite words in the English language?

    UNITED STATES PRESIDENT BARAK OBAMA.

    And thank you Mr. President.

    Posted by: Louis | Feb 8, 2014 2:21:18 AM


  13. Thank you President Obama.
    Perhaps before you leave office, American citizens can receive equal rights across the board on the same criteria: "regardless of where you come from, what you look like, who you love."

    Posted by: SteveDenver | Feb 8, 2014 4:15:16 AM


  14. We have an amazing president who, thankfully, has not been afraid to tread new ground without sacrificing too much in the interest of appeasing the other side of the aisle. I do think there was an evolution, from attempting bipartisan cooperation, to realizing that such a thing was impossible with the current GOP, and finally saying screw it, I'm gonna do what's right.

    I'm hopeful that he will use any executive powers at his disposal to put his remaining time to its best use. Also hopeful that Hillary will be next at the big desk and continue this era of progress for civil rights and equality.

    Posted by: sparks | Feb 8, 2014 5:45:29 AM


  15. Why didn't they send Richard Simmons? :-)

    Posted by: Jeff | Feb 8, 2014 6:28:03 AM


  16. Is it me or does President Obama look very tired in this interview? And what is wrong with Bob Costas' eye?

    Posted by: David | Feb 8, 2014 7:44:35 AM


  17. Bob Costas has an eye infection and President Obama probably is tired...

    Posted by: Brian in Texas | Feb 8, 2014 8:03:46 AM


  18. Yes, I do imagine presidents of important nations such as the U.S. get very tired on occasion.

    Posted by: SpaceCadet | Feb 8, 2014 9:50:17 AM


  19. Putin picked a cartoonist who depicted Pres. & 1st Lady Obama as monkeys eating bananas as his retaliation.

    Obama should revoke Regan's executive order outlawing assassination attempts on foreign heads of state.

    Take that f#cker Putin out!

    Posted by: FFS | Feb 8, 2014 9:51:45 AM


  20. "to light the Olympic flame" belongs in that first sentence from my previous comment.

    F#ck early mornings.

    Posted by: FFS | Feb 8, 2014 12:21:22 PM


  21. "You damn skippy I sent the gays to prove a point" LOL. I love it!

    Posted by: ny2.0 | Feb 8, 2014 1:58:22 PM


  22. Just another example of what a good friend President Obama is to the LGBT Community.

    Posted by: andrew | Feb 8, 2014 5:17:05 PM


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