Jonathan Higbee's picture

Olympic Committee Accepts Yelena Isinayeva's "Clarification" At Face Value, Won't Pursue Action

The International Olympic Committee is under fire yet again today for embracing the prefectly timed "clarification" from Russian Olympian Yelena Isinayeva following her vehemently anti-gay (and crystal clear) remarks from Thursday. 

Though Yelena insisted on Friday that she's against the discrimination of LGBT and other minority groups (following, of course, calls for her to be removed from the honorific post of "mayor" of the upcoming Sochi Olympic Village on Thursday night), her message earlier in the week was pretty straightforward. 

“We consider us normal people, where boys live with women, women live with boys. It comes from our history," Yelena said while criticizing a competitor's rainbow Pride nails. "We never had any of these problems in Russia and we don’t want to have it in the future.”

But instead of reprimanding their Russian Olympic ambassador, the IOC has instead fully embraced her follow-up comments that basically amount to pointing the finger at us for misunderstanding. "English is not my first language and I think I may have been misunderstood when I spoke yesterday," Yelena said in a statement released on Friday. 

The IOC is totally cool with this statement and will not, as many fellow Olympians have asked, revoke Yelena's mayorship in the upcoming Winter Games. 

From the BBC:

The IOC said in a statement: “Clearly English is not her mother tongue and she has now clarified that she was misunderstood and that she is ‘opposed to any kind of discrimination against gay people’.

“We can only reiterate that the Olympic Games should be open to all, free of discrimination, and that applies to spectators, officials, media and of course athletes.”

The IAAF’s secretary general, Essar Gabriel, welcomed Yelena Isinbayeva’s latest statement.

“I think Yelena is very genuine about this,” he told the BBC. “I know Yelena very well myself, it is correct her English and her understanding of English is not the best and it’s great that she sought to explain exactly what she meant.

“She is somebody who has a great heart, and if she has a lack of English language which we know of she certainly should be careful. When I saw them [Thursday's comments] I thought that doesn’t respond to the character and what we know of Yelena.”



You pussy's stop bashing Russia, these laws are in affect in EVERY Muslim country!!

Go cry wolf there.

Don't get me wrong I'm all in favor of equal rights but its just so sad to see everybody is turning to mother Russia while LGBT are being slaughtered throughout the Middle East!!!

They throw them off buildings, hang them in public and worse.

So do something about that NEXT to crying to Russia for equal rights.

The gay rights issue is just the latest in a string of atrocities committed by Russia - it's not a democracy - they don't have free press - opposition leaders and journalists are being imprisoned and murdered, and the public services system is corrupt beyond repair. Russia deserves the harsh spotlight being shone on it.

You're right about those other countries, but as a tiny minority of only 5-10% of the population, we rely for our strength on our heterosexual families, friends, colleagues and allies.  There is only so much we can ask of all these people who support us and put themselves in harm's way for us out of the goodness of their hearts.

We can therefore fight our battle to be released from persecution on only one front at a time.  I can assure you however that the United Nations has already taken a stand on the countries you mention, 76 of whom imprison people for being gay, and 7 of which have the death penalty.  Hillary Clinton delivered a stunning 30 minute long address to the UN specifically on LGBT rights, so please don't think we're not aware of this, or that nothing is being done.

Russia however is the biggest of big disappointments, because it is the home of some of the world's greatest culture, specifically ballet, music, literature, sculpture, science, architecture and to see its government turn with such vehemence and outright hostility against its LGBT citizens just to garner the religious voters from the Russian Orthodox Church, whose priests are participating in the violent nationwide pogroms against LGBT, including torturing a 15 year old gay teenager to death, and "correctively raping" a gay man with beer bottles till he bled to death is utterly horrifying.  We expected so much better from this once great nation.

I don't think it's straw man to conclude that by refusing to move or cancel the Winter Olympics, or to take any firm steps whatsoever to ensure equal treatment for all participants in the games, the IOC implicitly backs the Russian government's popular persecution of gay people and all that connotes.

We therefore have to look elsewhere for progress on this issue.

The Blood on the hands of Putin.

• Accused of having former KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko poisoned on foreign soil with Polonium-210. Litvinenko had exposed Russian secret services' staging Russian apartment bombings and other terrorism acts to bring Vladimir Putin to power.
• Has made Russia the $1.5 billion arsenal of Assad's Syria, notably S-300 missile systems
• Jailed anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny for 5 years after Navalny had exposed billions of dollars in official corruption
• Had whistleblowing lawyer Sergei Magnitsky who had exposed $2.5 million in police fraud, arrested by the very police he exposed, who then tortured him to death in prison, after which Putin commended, promoted and decorated said police.
• In order to shore up the Russian Orthodox religious voting bloc, passed legislation recriminalising homosexuality, thereby allowing police to ignore mob, gang and individual attacks on gay people, including several torturing murders, and instead arrest those that were attacked on charges of ‘extremism’ and  ‘homosexual propaganda’.
• Dismissed popular government news presenter Anton Krasovsky from his job on the spot, without entitlements after he came out as gay.

Why bother the Olympics are run by a bunch of assholes so what is the use of protesting , just don't go to them.

Jailed by Russia for supporting non-discrimination of all, including LGBT, or booted as #IOC Ambassador? Neither, because all are being "politically correct" which of course the IOC states there should be NO politics in thy Olympics. It's BULLSHIT and the IOC knows that she meant what she said!!  It's pretty damn clear "We consider us normal people, where boys live with women, women live with boys." 

Add new comment