In light of the fact that the current discriminatory laws in Russia are entirely incompatible with hosting an open inclusive Olympic Games, as set out in its Charter, it seems that the IOC and its sponsors are left with little option but to leverage their influence and clearly publicly communicate to the Russian authorities that the ACTUAL change and repeal of the antiLGBT laws, needs to be implemented or Russia will likely face the cancellation or postponement of the Games, or preferably relocation to an alternative host city altogether. Any number of the past host cities would have the facilities to cope. Needless to say, in this scenario, Sochi and the Russian Government would incur the loss of sponsorship revenue.
Switching venue to an alternate city would is be the most amicable solution for all involved, as it would save competing athletes disappointment, by avoiding a boycott. It will send a clear message to the Russian Government and any other governments, that cleansing of any minority, be it based on ethnicity, religious belief, or sexual orientation, will not be tolerated. This alternative would still provides a platform for the LGBT athletes and supporters to protest the Russian Government if the laws are not repealed.
There are a broad range of boycott options legitimately in play, while the IOC down-plays the situation. The Russian Government will likely respond to financial pressure. So a boycott on tourism, Russian products and services, and a withdrawal of Olympic sponsorship by corporations, coupled with travel VISA denial for key Russian officials and prominent Russian business owners will likely get their attention. Olympic sponsors should also be subject to boycott if they continue to finance the Olympics in Sochi, which this includes official Olympic television channels in respective countries.
Ideally, the member country Olympic Committees need to pressure the IOC to act appropriately to ensure that the necessary steps are taken, steps that result in the withdrawal of the anti-LGBT legislation or the relocation of the Games to a venue that truly values and respects equality.
If these initiatives fail to be implemented or fail to bear the requisite result, then member countries whose policies on human rights are incompatible with the new Russian anti-LGBT laws need to consider a full withdrawal from the 2014 Olympics.
BE PART OF THE SOLUTION(What you can do to help)
We have put together a quick list of things that you can do to be part of the solution. Links to contacts you’ll need and example letters for you to send, you’ll find it quick and easy to send a message to the Olympic stakeholders.
In the event that the Russian anti antiLGBT laws stand:
1. BOYCOTT all Russian products.
2. AVOID travel to Russia..
3. WRITE to Foreign and Trade Ministers demanding Russian trade embargoes and travel VISA denials for Russian officials.
4. WRITE to the IOC and demand they change venue city .city.
5. BOYCOTT all Olympic sponsors and suppliers.
6. WRITE to Olympic sponsors/suppliers and demand they withdraw funding.
7. WRITE to politicians encourage them to demand Olympic consequences for Russia.
8. WRITE to your countries Olympic Committee to demand they pressure the IOC and boycott Sochi.
9. BOYCOTT Olympic coverage and commit to not watching.
10. WRITE to your countries country’s official Olympic TV channel.
11. WRITE to support to advocates and allies encouraging them to take a hard line for human rights.
12. SIGN and share our petition.
13. SHARE our site, Facebook, Twitter and adverts online, as well as traditional word of mouth.