The US Olympics Committee: “We are not an advocacy organization” but support LGBT athletes

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The United States Olympics Committee (USOC) support altering the charter to include LGBT athletes but stressed that they aren’t a human rights organization.

“First and foremost we are a sport’s organization, we’re the only organization in the world whose job it is to make sure American athletes get a chance to compete in the Olympic Games,” United States Olympic Committee chief executive Scott Blackmun told the press on October 2. “We are not an advocacy organization or a human rights organization. We are a part of a worldwide Olympic movement and I think what we can do is advocate for change within our movement.”

Russia implemented a law that bans any form of homosexual propaganda on June 30. While this anti-LGBT law conflicts with the country hosting the Olympics, The USOC wanted to make clear that they have no intention in changing Russia’s laws or promote any forms demonstrations.

“Anything we can do with the international Olympic movement, within the U.S. Olympic movement, we want to do to make sure people understand that we want all of our athletes to feel comfortable being part of the U.S. team,” said Blackmun. “We want to lead by example and we also want to advocate internally, within the global Olympic movement, to make sure we as family are doing everything we can to send the message we do not tolerate discrimination.”

Several athletes and LGBT allies have spoken against Russia’s laws.

Germany also debuted its multi-colored Olympic uniforms on October 1 with speculation from social media that it represented the rainbow flag, a symbol of the LGBT rights movement. Designer Willy Bogner said the design was homage to the 1972 Munich Summer Games as his aim was for a ”celebratory design, inspired by the great atmosphere of the times.”

The German Olympic Sports Confederation said “the uniforms are not a protest” as they were designed before the Russian controversy occurred.

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