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Robbie Rogers Speaks Out On Potential Olympic Boycott

In an op-ed piece for USA Today, Robbie Rogers, currently the only openly gay athlete playing in one of the USA's five major team sports, spoke out against calls for a boycott on the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia. 

While his stance primarily rests on the argument that Olympic athletes should have the opportunity to compete against the best in the world and achieve the goals they've worked for years to accomplish, he also provides his own suggestions for what actions the International Olympic Committee should take.

Rogers writes:

"And here's what I hope the International Olympic Committee will do: Relax the rules forbidding Olympic athletes from wearing a symbol that represents a political statement. On the contrary, encourage athletes attending the Sochi Olympics to wear the rainbow flag, a symbol of gay pride, as a symbol of their support for LGBT athletes everywhere and to show solidarity for gay Russians who are now living under the threat of arrest by a repressive regime.

There's historical precedent here. In 1936, when Berlin hosted the Summer Olympics, Hitler saw it as a chance to promote his views of racial purity to the world, and the official Nazi paper argued that Jews and Blacks should not be allowed to compete. This sparked a heated international debate involving many countries—including the United States--about whether or not to boycott the Olympics. And perhaps the most enduring image of those Olympics was the triumph of African-American sprinter Jesse Owens. Had the U.S. boycotted and Jesse Owens missed the event, an important historical teaching moment would have been lost."

The IOC has already stated that symbols of pro-LGBT equality will not be allowed.

Do you think they may consider changing their stance and relaxing those rules?

What do you think of Robbie's opposition to a potential boycott and his suggestions for how to take action?

 

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Comments

I think we all know how this is going to turn out.  WE just have to remain focused on OUR continual fight to change flawed hearts and mind.  We are PEOPLE too, and deserve the right to live and love wherever we are.  Let's leave the athletes out of it.  And I, for one, am behind Robbie all the way.  Let's face it, he's an openly gay man CURRENTLY play in MLS.  That's huge, and what a statement by MLS and the team he plays for.

Its not just the Olympics  that are affected by Russia's new laws, it will be all sporting events that they hold there and everyone will have to comply  or go to jail.

sick of gay athletes and celebrities who don't have the balls to stand up for their own people? https://www.facebook.com/brandedbysochi?fref=ts    www.brandedbysochi.com

visit us on Facebook and find out what the gay community really thinks of Sochi

It would be rare to find an Olympic athlete who would put the greater good before their own self interest.  Of course they want to participate, it's what they've invested their entire life in.  And who is to blame them?  It's still doesn't make it right.  In a perfect world, the Winter Olympics would be moved from Russia immediately.  Since that most likely will not happen, the USOC and IOC should make it abundantly clear to gay athletes and fans alike, they cannot guarantee their safety.

There's a perfect solution to this:

- No country should boycott their athletes from going to the Olympics.  They do deserve their chance to compete and hopefully win medals.

- The rest of us though, can boycott watching the Olympics, attending the Olympics, and giving any of our business to sponsors of the Olympics.  Hit both Russia and the IOC where it hurts, while leaving the athletes out of this.

I agree with his statements & the evidence supporting them.

I disagree.  Jesse Owens' performance did nothing to stop the Nazi Party in the years to come.  Their ideas of racial purity persisted.  Robbie's example is massively flawed

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