“There are politics in sport and athletics. They always are intertwined, even though people try to keep them separate. Asking an athlete to go somewhere and compete and be a representative of that philosophy and all the different crap that kind of goes along with it and then telling them they can’t tell them they express their views or they can’t say what they believe is pretty hypocritical and unfair."
Bode Miller (Olympian Skier)
Every since the brutal crackdown and reign of terror against Russian LGBT citizens began, the Sochi Olympics have become a focal point to express outrages against this pogrom. Calls have heard for everything such as boycotting the Olympics, to moving them to another city or begging the Olympic Committee to show leadership in the face of such human rights violations.
The fact of the matter is that none of that is going to happen.
The Olympics are not going to be moved to another city. Nations, including the United States, are not going to boycott the games. The Olympic Committee has totally copped out and found no problems with the Russian reign of terror against their own citizens.
So now what?
The time has come for the international LGBT community to get focused with a program of protest that is realistic. Silence is not one of those options.
The organizing must start here in America first and hopefully the energy will spread to other athletes around the world.
A fair number of athletes (such as Olympian Skier Bode Miller above) have individually spoken out.
GLAAD and Athlete Ally should form a coalition around Sochi and coordinate their resources and good work.
Here are some suggestions for focused action that makes realistic sense. Without question there are other options but we have to make a decision and get moving quickly before we lose the opportunity to protest.
1. Write one single "Statement of Conscience' that will express outrage and dismay with the policies of the Russian government, the inaction by the Olympic Committee and solidarity with the Russian LGBT community.
2. Have as many prominent athletes in America as possible sign the statement stars from all kinds of sports. The Olympic Athletes who sign should be the Honorary Committee.
3. Make visible in the media, social media and via appearances their expressions.
4. Have a separate drive to gain famous entertainers to sign the same 'statement'.
5. Place entertainers and athletes on major shows.
6. Focus on NBC Sports and especially the morning "Today Show" with their outdoor activities and windows.
7. Work with the Olympic Athletes to find a form of public support at the Olympics. It maybe be something simple such as everyone wearing an LGBT Russian Olympic pin or an armband. If enough of them agree to do it, it will be impossible for the Olympic Committed to stop it.
8. For those who believe in non-violent action, sit in's at NBC Sports and also at the US Olympic offices.
9. Banners and placards at NBC Sporting Events
10. Send key visible personalities to Sochi to gain massive coverage of the issue.