Obama: No Olympics Boycott over Russia Gay Rights

Obama: No Olympics Boycott over Russia Gay Rights

On Friday, President Obama spoke about America’s increasingly broken relationship with Russia. With regard to the Olympics, Obama said, “I do not think it is appropriate to boycott the Olympics.”

He said he was “offended” by anti-gay legislation in Russia as well as other countries. “One of the things I’m really looking forward to is maybe some gay or lesbian athletes bringing home the gold or silver or bronze, which would go a long way in rejecting the kind of attitudes we’re seeing there. And if Russia doesn’t have gay or lesbian athletes, it will probably make their team weaker.”

Obama said there was “always tension” between the United States and Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union. He pointed to “lots of progress” during his first years while working with then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. 

Obama also said he’d “encouraged Mr. Putin to think forward as opposed to backwards… with mixed success.” Obama said this latest episode was “just one more in a number of emerging differences” between the two countries over Syria and human rights issues. Obama said he could not “disguise” differences between the two countries.

Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).