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Straight Olympian Nick Symmonds' Message Of 'Support' Misses The Mark

Two-time Olympian and purported LGBT ally Nick Symmonds posted a blog in "support" of the LGBT community and in opposition to Russia's anti-gay laws, but we think he misses the mark in a big way. 

Give it a read and let us know what you think. 

Symmonds writes on Runner's World:

As soon as I announced on Twitter (@nicksymmonds) that I was going to be blogging for Runner's World during the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, Russia, I received many responses from my loyal followers. They were generally positive, but several had a tone that really stood out. Several people who know me to be a relatively vocal athlete when it comes to political issues were excited to hear me discuss what it's like to compete in a country with questionable human rights laws. Given that I have always been adamant in my support of gay rights at home in the United States, I assumed these followers were referring to Russia's "anti-gay propaganda" legislation. 

These laws, which do not expressly prohibit being homosexual, criminalize public discussion of homosexuality, especially with foreigners. As an American, I believe in freedom of speech and equality for all, and therefore disagree with the laws that Russia has put in place. Given that I am currently residing in London, I will say, once again, that our LGBT neighbors deserve all the same rights as the rest of us. However, as an American who is about to reside in Moscow for 12 days, this will be the last time I will mention this subject. 

I say this not out of fear of prosecution by the Russian government, but out of respect for the fact that I will be a guest in the host nation. Just as I would not accept a dinner invite to a friend's house and then lecture them on how to raise their kids, neither will I lecture the Russian government on how to govern their people.  

This idea does go one step deeper, though. I am going to Russia to represent my country on the track. This civilized battlefield is where the best athletes in the world come together to metaphorically destroy each other. In the battle of the men's 800 meters, there are no weapons, no generals, no politicians involved, and actually very little contact at all. What you will find are 50 men who all want to become the next world champion, and who will figuratively and literally bleed to do so.  

I will say now what I said before the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, when people asked me how I felt competing in a foreign country with questionable human rights standards: The playing field is not a place for politics. In a world rife with never-ending political battles, let the playing field be where we set aside our differences and compete for national pride and the love of sport. 

If I am placed in a race with a Russian athlete, I will shake his hand, thank him for his country's generous hospitality, and then, after kicking his ass in the race, silently dedicate the win to my gay and lesbian friends back home. Upon my return, I will then continue to fight for their rights in my beloved democratic union. 

A huge thank you to all who follow my career, and give me the platform to speak out against injustices I see in the world, both with my words and with my feet. 


We're sorry--what??

"...neither will I lecture the Russian government on how to govern their people."

"...silently dedicate the win to my gay and lesbian friends back home."

Nick, your desire to be polite and not "lecture" isn't helpful.

Your "silent dedication" of your win to gays & lesbians isn't helpful. 

Your VOICE could be helpful. 

As an athlete you're under no obligation to speak out in support of the LGBT community in Russia or anywhere else for that matter, but don't dress up your silence as some statement of conviction or something we should be grateful for. 

When you compete in Russia your "silence" will be deafening. (And we're hearing the bullsh*t that you're spewing from this blog post loud and clear.)


Image Source (Credit: NoH8, Adam Bouska)


Geezuz Kriste GET THE F$CK off his case! He isn't gay? and not every straight guy that supports gays has to fricking FLY A FLAG to state they support gay rights, no straight woman has to do it either and he going to Russia as a STRAIGHT man trying to do his thing which he being an athtlete not an activist OR can YOU peeps! not read! I am a PROUD gay man and when any straight person even takes 5 minutes of there time to speak out in support its FINE!!! Chill the F$CK out on this guy! HE TRIED! and that's what counts!!!!

Would you say the same if this was about a country abusing a racial or ethnic minority?  Women? Would you think that it was OK for him to just go there and "do his thing"?  I get that there are some LGBT's who still don't think they are deserving of holding the world to the same moral standard they expect of others but not all of us are angry, self loathing and worship those who they feel are above us. But there are those, like myself that know they are equal and deserving of the same outrage that we would expect from any sane, decent and moral person. Stop yelling at others and yell at who your really angry at, yourself.

What an incredibly arrogant and close-minded / close-hearted man. His words do sound like he is somewhat speaking from fear, on many levels. 

About the comparison of government being like parents; Government does not 'raise' the people of the country. Plus, very few people in this world have the incredible privilege of being in his position. --If he were to be in a household (or a country) where people were being humiliated and attacked, I would hope that his parents raised HIM well enough to know when he should stand up and do his efforts to truly, fully, HELP!

...He ends his uninspired speech by saying he will "silently dedicate" his win to his gay friends??? I can't imagine he has gay people as genuine friends in his life with such irresponsible statements like these.  --WHY would he say something like that, about being silent, and THEN finalize his words with saying that he uses his voice to speak out against injustices?!? 

If he went to a friends house for dinner, would he "lecture" them if he knew they were abusing their children?  That's more aligned with this situation than merely lecturing them on how they treat their citizens.

The more I hear some of these Olympic athletes speak on the subject the more I'm coming to believe that too many of them are just a bunch of self serving narcissists. Seriously, if he went to dinner and the hosts were abusing their children he'd not say something?  What a creep!

great minds think alike!

Here in Britain we have a saying, "He is all mouth and no trousers".

Americans might say "All hat, no cattle."

My dad would have said his "support" is a mile wide and an inch deep.

Had never heard "A mile wide and an inch deep" before. I like it and am going to start using it. It suits quite a few people I know.


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