IOC, Russia, the Olympics, and LGBT
I’m not really into sports (apart from Roller Derby), and I can’t really name any of the people that’s going to compete in the 2014 winter Olympics. I wasn’t going to warch it either, as I find it kinda boring – and totally run by the Big Bucks(tm). It is obvious to me that sports at that level is dead serious to people though, and not only the athletes.
If you own the company that sponsors the winner in cross country skiing, a huge sport with a lot of different classes and a lot of different athletes, during the Olympics, your brand has been seen by millions! That’s worth a shitload of money!
As a side note, have you ever watched ski jumping on the telly? They sit on the top, do their jump, lands, and take off their skis almost before they stop. It’s not so they don’t wear down the soles on their ski by standing on them, it’s because they need to show their skis to the audience at home. You know, so you’ll buy that brand the day you decide to take up ski jumping!
How much money do we speak of when we think of sponsor agreements in the Olympics alone? Billions is my unqualified guess. And the IOC most likely gets a cut. Directly or indirectly. They need the Olympics, after all their name is the International Omympics Comittee! It’s what they do, the Olympics.
So, next year it’s in Russia. It’s been in Russia before, also when Russia wasn’t Russia but USSR. The USA, and others, boycotted the Olympics in USSR in 1980 due to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. (Back then Afghanistan and the USA were friends, but that’s for
a different post!) The Iron Curtain has fallen, and Russia started moving towards democracy, in a really russian way.
Now they have draconian anti-gay laws, that makes it illegal to wave a rainbow flag, to be an “active gay”, and a lot of other insane stuff. People have tried to tell the IOC that it’s not cool, and the IOC have told people to look at their bylaws. The IOC will not be political! My ass!
By not doing shit, they send a really huge message! Gay people should shut up, and leave their pride at home. The IOC is a bunch of spineless old men, who think with their wallets, and I’d like to tell them a thing or two! But, even with my security clerance, I doubt they’d listen to me – an atheist with a humanitarian world view, who don’t care much about money, sports, or stupid old men. (Are there women in IOC? I don’t know…)
My wish is that people boycott the 2014 Olympics, but we all know that’s never going to happen. Karl Marx said “Religion is opium for the masses.” I think we can expand that to “Religion, Sports, and the Telly are opium for the masses!”
Disclaimer: I’m writing this at work, in my breaks, so it might be a bit incoherent, and there are no links. I’ll fix that when I get home.