Going 'All Out' for Sochi
Corporate actions still speak louder than words
By Lawrence Everett Forbes, 1:30PM, Wed. Feb. 5
The opening ceremony begins on Friday, but today thousands of people are gathering in cities around the world to pressure Olympic sponsors to take a stand against Russia's anti-gay laws.
LGBTQ activist group All Out has a list of protests planned from Paraguay to Canada as part of its Olympic Sponsors Global Speak Out campaign. Curiously, none seem to be taking place here in Austin, home of Samsung Semiconductor, whose parent company is an International Olympic Committee (IOC) sponsor.
All Out, the Human Rights Campaign, and 38 of the planet's leading human rights and LGBT groups wrote a letter to the IOC sponsors, requesting they use their economic power to urge Russia to cease its anti-LGBT discrimination. Interestingly enough, AT&T, which is not an IOC sponsor, released a statement condemning Russia's anti-LGBT law. They also received a rating of 100 percent in the HRC's 2014 Corporate Equality Index — a rating we'd say was well earned.
We wonder if the HRC ratings of the IOC sponsors who have remained silent will be reassessed? For example, Coca-Cola also received a rating of 100, but will they still deserve it, given recent events? What will the next few weeks in Sochi bring?