U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun is waiting on clarification on Russia’s anti-gay law, like the International Olympic Committee is, but would like to see U.S. athletes comply with any laws in place.
“It’s our strong desire that our athletes comply with the laws of every nation that we visit,” Blackmun told R-Sport on Wednesday. “This law is no different.”
The Russian news agency asked Blackmun his interpretation of the law.
“We’re looking to the IOC for some leadership in this issue,” Blackmun said. “They have been in discussions with the Russian authorities, so we’re awaiting for some clarification from them.
“Our job, first and foremost, is to make sure that our athletes are prepared to compete and aren’t distracted while they’re here. We’re a sports organization, and we’ll leave the diplomacy on the legal issues to the diplomats, and we’re not going to get involved.”
Asked about involvement if an athlete makes a protest, Blackmun responded:
“You can’t judge in advance what you’re going to do. Each Games is different. The athletes are always going into countries with laws different than his or her own country. They’re going to agree with those laws in some ways, they’re going to disagree with those laws in other ways.”
Americans have this crazy notion that they’re allowed to freely assemble and protest laws they don’t agree with, however. No matter how much Blackmun wishes it, this isn’t going away anytime soon.