American Athlete First to Criticize Russia’s Anti-Gay Laws on Russian Soil!

Image via NOH8

Image via NOH8

Runner Nick Symmonds took home the silver medal in the 800 meter at the World Track and Field Championship in Moscow this week, and used his time in the spotlight to make a statement, though carefully worded, about the country’s treatment of LGBT people. His statement makes him the first athlete to criticize the country on national televison. “As much as I can speak out about it, I believe that all humans deserve equality as however God made them…Whether you’re gay, straight, black, white, we all deserve the same rights. If there’s anything I can do to champion the cause and further it, I will, shy of getting arrested.”

The 29-year-old has shown his support in the past for the LGBT community though posing for pictures for the NOH8 campaign among other things, but recently addressed Russia’s new policies by saying that while he disagreed with the laws he wouldn’t say anything about them while in Russia. “These laws, which do not expressly prohibit being homosexual, criminalize public discussion of homosexuality, especially with foreigners. As an American, I believe in freedom of speech and equality for all, and therefore disagree with the laws that Russia has put in place, he told Runner’s World. “Given that I am currently residing in London, I will say, once again, that our LGBT neighbors deserve all the same rights as the rest of us. However, as an American who is about to reside in Moscow for 12 days, this will be the last time I will mention this subject.” [OutSports]

Looks like Symmonds had a change of heart while there!

 

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