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Billie Jean King Arrives In Sochi, Talks Gay Rights

King

Billie Jean King arrived in Sochi, Russia this weekend as a member of the presidential delegation to today's closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics. She came to the country with a message to the LGBT community.

The McClatchy Foreign Staff reports on her thoughts on holding the games in Russia:

“Having the Winter Olympics here, the situation here in Russia, has opened up dialogue,” King said Saturday. “I’m always big on love over hate, and I think it’s important that everyone’s treated equally and good to each other. Hopefully, the LGBT community here in Russia knows that they’re not alone and we’ll learn from them.”

The also told the BBC she believes the International Olympic Committee should take into account a country's position on gay rights when considering it for the games.

"In the [bid] process it would be helpful. I would like to see it but I also understand it's not that easy." "If you can it would cut down the number of [eligible] countries. Sometimes it's good to go to a country where things aren't as good and help change things."I'm sure they'll [IOC] be looking at things differently the next time.

King had planned to attend the opening ceremony of the Olympics but canceled due to her mother's failing health. Her mother passed away on February 7.

Watch a short ESPN interview with King in which she talks about Russia, the Olympics and Vladimir Putin, AFTER THE JUMP...

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

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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.


Colbert's Olympics Reporter Buddy Cole Penetrates Sochi's Gay Underground: VIDEO

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Stephen Colbert's Olympics correspondent Buddy Cole (Scott Thompson) penetrated Sochi's gay underground to pay a visit to Mayak, the city's gay nightclub and have a talk with his owner.

After a brief discussion about Putin's non-traditional relationships with animals and his propensity to bare his nipples in public, Buddy Cole decided he might stay awhile, but chose to cover his own nips up.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

If you missed Cole's previous report on the gay extremist threat to Sochi find it here, and don't miss his visit with the U.S. speedskating team.

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What Straight People Think About Gay Rights: VIDEO

Xelle

XELLE, the NYC-based pop girl group fronted by JC Cassis and Rony G, hit Times Square in the uniforms they wore in their "Red Flag" anthem against anti-gay oppression to survey the masses about Russia's anti-gay laws and gay rights.

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Formula One's Bernie Ecclestone 'Completely Agrees' with Russia's Anti-Gay Laws: VIDEO

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Bernie Ecclestone, the President and CEO of Formula One Management, often referred to as 'F1 Supremo' by tabloids, tells CNN that he support Russian President Vladimir Putin and his anti-gay law.

EcclestoneSaid Ecclestone:

"He [Putin] hasn't said he doesn't agree [with homosexuality], just that he doesn't want these things publicised to an audience under the age of 18. I completely agree with those sentiments and if you took a world census you'd find 90% of the world agree with it as well. I've great admiration for him and his courage to say what he says. It may upset a few people but that's how the world is. It's how he sees the world and I think he's completely right."

Ecclestone's remarks come in advance of the first Russian Grand Prix, set to take place on the streets of Sochi in October.

Listen to his remarks in a CNN report, AFTER THE JUMP...

LotusIn February, Formula One team Lotus was forced to apologize after publishing a tweet that featured two men kissing with the message: "Ahead of the opening ceremony, we would like to wish all athletes a successful 2014 Olympic Winter Games #Sochi2014"

According to the BBC, "The Lotus F1 tweet upset top management and shareholders of the team, who are owned by the investment group Genii Capital, because it was causing problems for their business."

Formula One has a bit of a poor reputation in this area. It was involved in a lawsuit in 2009 in which it was accused of homophobia and racism by an employee who said he was fired for being gay.

Continue reading "Formula One's Bernie Ecclestone 'Completely Agrees' with Russia's Anti-Gay Laws: VIDEO" »


Jimmy Kimmel Reveals it Was His Sochi 'Wolf in the Hall' Hoax: VIDEO

Wolf

Jimmy Kimmel enlisted U.S. Olympic luger Kate Hansen for his latest hoax, the Epic #SochiFail 'Wolf in the Hall' report which news organizations around the world eagerly slurped up after Hansen posted it on her Twitter account.

And yes, it was a real wolf.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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