As a straight man - no, a human being, this is quite a simple plea to the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Let's call a dirty spade a damn dirty spade when we see it. Yelena Isinbayeva's alleged comments, if not mistranslated, are bigot-backing bile. Compare the two below:
"It's disrespectful to our country, disrespectful to our citizens because we are Russians,"
"Maybe we are different than European people and people from different lands. We have our law which everyone has to respect. When we go to different countries, we try to follow their rules. We are not trying to set our rules over there. We are just trying to be respectful."
2013, Yelena Isinbayeva, Russian Pole-vaulter (AP)
"The Natives will be taught from childhood to realise that equality with Europeans is not for them. There is no place for the Bantu child above the level of certain forms of labour."
1953, Dr. H.F. Verwoerd, South African Minister of Native Affairs (MOA)
Anyway, it's the anti-human law that matters more. While such opinions might be applauded by some people in 1950s South Africa and Russia today, a bucket of KFC would seem to have more moral nous. What would Emmeline Pankhurst think of Yelena-like words about women? So for apartheid and gender discrimination, so it should be for homophobia.
But let's also compare the current failing below:
"We don't think it is a fundamental issue, more a translation issue"..."We are not clear about the English translation of the Russian law and we want clarification of this translation to be able to understand what has been communicated to us"
2013, Jacques Rogge, Head of the IOC (BBC)
South Africa has been barred from taking part in the 18th Olympic Games in Tokyo over its refusal to condemn apartheid.
1964, BBC (BBC)
Have the IOC been looking for the same dictionary that Obama's been using to look up 'coup'? Even if Yelena has been mistranslated, that law is noxious, odious bigotry worthy of only outright condemnation. The IOC's wet lack of a similar response used to apartheid laws can only be down to ignorance, incompetence, or an utter failure of mental prowess. Such equivocation over the bleeding obvious should only be reserved for the powerless Baldricks among us. Look, Jacques, I'll make it easy for you; you said it yourself:
"[Jacques] stressed that, under the Olympic charter, sport was a "human right and should be available to all regardless of race, sex, sexual orientation"."
2013, BBC (BBC)
Well then, if it's against the charter, then it's against the IOC. Politics and sport has always been intertwined Jacques, and you know it. Give over. Get off your comfy perch and do something about Sochi before your endorsement of bigotry goes ahead. If not, we may as well start issuing pink triangles to incoming athletes in the arrivals lounge.Suggest a correction