Olympic sponsors urged to insist on changes
In a few short days, the Opening Ceremonies will commence the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. A group of NGOs has approached the main sponsors of the Olympics urging them to use their voice to insist on changes that will make a difference in the future.
“As sponsors of these Games and partners of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), you can expect that your brands will be indelibly linked to events and occurrences in Russia leading up to and during the Winter Games. We know it must surely concern you, as it deeply concerns all of us, that since being selected as the host country for the Winter Olympics, the Russian government has intensified its assault on the human rights of its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) citizens and the IOC has stood by without strongly condemning these acts.
You are sponsors of the Sochi Games. You have invested millions in this sponsorship. Many of you are committed supporters of equality, extending protections and benefits to your LGBT employees. This is not only good for business but it is also the right thing to do. You also understand that discrimination has an economic cost that harms businesses and economies wherever it is found. Silence in the face of discrimination also carries reputational risks.”
Tags: Discrimination, Freedom of expression, Human Rights Defenders, LGBT, Propaganda laws, Sochi Olympics, and Vladimir Putin.