In the past few weeks, the LGBT activist community has kicked into high gear exposing the atrocities going on in Russia in advance of the Sochi Olympic Games, and taking action to make a difference on behalf of our Russian LGBT brothers and sisters. We at Truth Wins Out sincerely hope that enough pressure is brought to bear on the host nation that they either change course in their treatment of LGBT people, journalists and political protesters, or that the IOC would choose to move the Games to a nation that isn’t currently engaging in a pogrom against a significant minority group. But last week, we had another idea. If the games are not moved, we want to ensure that they don’t happen without the worldwide viewing community truly understanding just how far outside the bounds of the Olympic spirit the host nation truly is, and for that to be accomplished, NBC must make conditions in Russia a prominent feature of their broadcasting.
So, we suggested that, since NBC is lucky enough to have one of the finest television journalists in the world working in their family of networks, they should bring Rachel Maddow to Sochi as their official Human Rights Correspondent, to tell the real story of Russia — to create a backdrop for the Games that has true journalist integrity.
We started a petition at Change.org, and it’s been slowly but surely building in support and coverage. Wingnuts hate the idea, which means we’re on the right track. (Do not click that link unless you want to recoil in embarrassment at the homophobic ignorance of some of your fellow Americans, as well as their utter lack of even the most tenuous understanding of English spelling and grammar.)
We need your help, though, to build momentum, because, again, if we end up with a situation where these games are held on schedule in Sochi, we need a commitment from NBC that they won’t phone this one in. So, SIGN IT, if you haven’t, and spread it as far and wide as you possibly can!
Out Olympic diver Matthew Mitcham had this to say about the current situation:
“The way they are persecuting people in Russia is quite horrific. The Olympics is the best experience you will ever have as an athlete. Their whole memory and experience is going to be marred by this stuff. They are going to be made to feel unacceptable, inappropriate, and it is a really awful, awful feeling. The Olympics are supposed to be somewhere where they can go to be relieved of that feeling. A place where you can compete and feel that gender and sexuality is not an issue.”
It is horrific. Again, we don’t yet know whether, in the end, the games will go on as planned. But we do need to plan for all contingencies, for the sake of the Russian people and for the sake of the athletes competing. A commitment from NBC, to truly tell the story, has the potential to get some of the other angles of this fight moving more quickly, and at the very least, ensures that, amidst the pomp and circumstance, the true story of Russia will be told to a world that is watching.
Sign it if you haven’t, and then share it with as many people as you can!