Russia’s Anti-Gay Laws Shouldn’t Matter at 2014 Winter Olympics

 

Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 Winter Olympic Games are almost here, and I know I can speak on behalf of all Americans when I say we can hardly wait. But, there are likely a few people out there who may be dreading the events in some respect. Who are those select few?

Gay athletes may not be as excited as most of us are for the games. Russia’s anti-gay laws have been a hot topic recently and, while they are still allowing the athletes to take part in the events, life may not be as easy for these folks compared to the others.

The fact that this is becoming such a huge deal is getting unbearably irritating. Is it a ploy by either side to attract unnecessary attention? Are the pro-gay rights activists making this a huge deal simply to stir up more controversy? Or, are the anti-gay folks out there making this a bigger issue than it really is?

Regardless of the answer to why it is becoming such an enormous topic leading up to the Olympic Games, here is the truth of the situation: It shouldn’t matter.

All of these athletes gather together to do what they love to do, and that is participate in the sports and events they are most passionate about. Whether or not they fall into a certain political category should not matter one bit — but of course, it does. Chances are, these gay athletes will have a tougher time over in Russia. Again, without taking a side one way or another, that is just plain wrong.

Look, this isn’t a political convention here. It’s not an event that should restrict certain parties from participating, or even make it more difficult on those who do participate. It’s not an event put on by a church. It’s not an event put on by a private institution. It’s not an event that should remotely include any restrictions or controversies based on political or religious affiliations.

So, why does it matter? Folks, this is supposed to be a time where we can come together. This is a time where people celebrate diversity. This is a time where we get together with all nations to celebrate something bigger than us — unity. Sports and recreation have united the world for the longest time, so why should these silly laws get in the way? Can’t we just have our fun and enjoy the moments ahead?

Unfortunately, because of the world we live in, that is not possible. For those making an effort to allow the 2014 Olympic Games to be an incredible, enjoyable and memorable experience for all parties involved, though, I say kudos. You are the type of people that will change this world for the better.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior Writer for RantSports.comFollow him on Twitter @ryanmheckman, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.


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