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SBD Global/December 12, 2013/Olympics

Navratilova, Collins Push IOC To Defend Gay Rights, Take Stand Against Sochi

Former tennis player Martina Navratilova and former NBA player Jason Collins said on Tuesday that the IOC "has not done enough to defend the rights of gay athletes" ahead of the 2014 Sochi Olympics, according to Michelle Nichols of REUTERS. Speaking at the U.N. to mark Int'l Human Rights Day, Navratilova and Collins said that "focus should not just be on the Sochi Games in February and March, but also on the rights of gay Russians and on anti-gay laws in other countries that will play host to global sporting events in the future." Navratilova, who "has become a champion for gay athletes in sport since revealing she was gay in 1981," said she was disappointed with the IOC "for really putting their head in the sand" over the Russian law. Collins said that sporting bodies such as the IOC and FIFA "should consider carefully the countries and cities with which they link their brands." Collins: "Do you choose to associate with a country or a people or a government that will oppress and put down their own people? You should choose to associate with people who stand for the same ideals that you stand for, which should celebrate sport and athletes to be their true selves" (REUTERS, 12/10).
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