The IOC Might Want to Read the Whole Olympic Charter

By: Saturday August 17, 2013 9:00 am

As a pastor, I’m used to reading texts closely, taking them phrase by phrase and parsing out the multiple layers of meaning. I do this with religious texts and also with secular documents, from mortgage forms to SCOTUS opinions to presidential speeches. Words matter, and people who play fast and loose with them, or who don’t treat them with respect, really irritate me.

Like the International Olympic Committee.

Instead of using the Olympic Charter to tell athletes to sit down and shut up, the IOC ought to re-read it. If they tried that, they might notice words and phrases like “promoting a peaceful society” and “human dignity” and “sport is a human right . . . without discrimination” and so on. They might just realize that they have no option but to offer Putin a simple choice: repeal the anti-gay law and prosecute the thugs engaged in gay-bashing, or say goodbye to the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games.


Winter Olympic Sports Federations Oppose Discrimination, So Why Aren’t They Speaking Up?

By: Friday August 2, 2013 8:30 am

While pundits and athletes and politicians speak out about the anti-LGBT laws that were recently enacted in Russia, and the ongoing violence against LGBTs there, and the question of a boycott of the Sochi games is argued all around, the silence from the sports associations that govern the sports that would compete at Sochi is deafening.

Given the non-discrimination statements in the governing documents of every one of these federations, as well as the Olympic Charter itself, speaking out ought to be a no-brainer. Don’t believe me? Take a look at what those governing documents say . . . and then maybe people need to think about moving the games.

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