I have been lucky enough to have Dr. Ellen Staurowsky as a professor at Drexel, and her work is the kind of work that I find truly admirable. If you read up on the social issues in sports, specifically in college athletics stemming from the corrupt NCAA, you have probably heard of Dr. Staurowsky. Her website, LGBT Issues in Sport Blog, gives tremendous insight into one of the biggest social issues that plague sports today. With a mix of scholarly work from people within the industry and student contributions, the LGBT Issues in Sport Blog gives a good balance of work showing what is wrong and what can be done to right those wrongs.
When I first heard of the anti-LGBT legislation passed by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, my initial thought was how the ugly laws would be received at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games. The viewpoints of society and the media hit nearly every degree on the spectrum, however, one discussion particularly hit me.
Which is the best way to convey disagreement with Russia’s anti-LGBT laws: boycott or protest?
In my post on Dr. Staurowsky’s LGBT Issues in Sport Blog, I tried to aggregate as much as I could from the internet to form the most educated opinion possible. Here is a quote from Olympic medalist and one of the two “black fists” of the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, John Carlos, that I think sums up my thoughts and the thoughts of many others the best:
“The bottom line is, if you stay home, your message stays home with you,” he said. “If you stand for justice and equality, you have an obligation to find the biggest possible megaphone to let your feelings be known. Don’t let your message be buried and don’t bury yourself. To be heard is to be greater than a boycott. Had we stayed home, we’d never have been heard from again.”
Carlos’ quote originally appeared in The Nation’s Dave Zirin’s guest column on Grantland.
Read my full guest post on the LGBT Issues in Sport Blog here.