With the world’s attention focused on Sochi for the Olympics, outrage is growing over the plight of Russia’s LGBT community. A recently-enacted “gay propaganda” law has helped unleash a wave of anti-gay violence, and a proposed new law would actually remove children from the homes of LGBT parents.
Tennis star Maria Sharapova has a unique opportunity to raise awareness about this oppression. She will be reporting for NBC from Sochi, where she lived as a child, and speaking about what life is like in Russia. As an internationally known sports figure, and as the athlete given the honor of carrying the Russian flag in the 2012 Olympics, Sharapova has the chance to make a profound impact with even a brief mention.
But she has specifically said that she will not talk about LGBT oppression, responding to a question with, “I said everything I wanted to say there about it.” (Source)
Send Maria Sharapova a message, and tell her to reconsider this. No one is asking her to focus exclusively on LGBT oppression, but to ignore it completely isn’t reporting, it’s PR whitewashing for the Russian government. And it’s a missed opportunity to speak out against injustice when something can still be done about it, rather than once it’s too late.