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You are correct.  If an athlete chooses to sit silent while their counterparts in other nations are beat up, then they have that right. But, many of them are gay, and should have the same right to speak on behalf of people, who cannot speak for themselves, as they do in their own countries.

It is often not the people doing the crime we remember, as much as those who sit silently and allow it.  If they  chose, they should have the right to wear a simple pin.  What is Russia so scared of if they are proud of their stance?