After winning the 4×400 meter relay at the World Athletic Championships in Moscow this weekend, runners Kseniya Ryzhova and Tatyana Firova shared a kiss on the lips on the winner’s podium. Was the kiss done specifically in protest of Russia’s horrible anti-gay laws? Neither woman has come out and said so, although you can’t really blame them, since doing anything that would “promote homosexuality” would be illegal in their home country. The controversy over the kiss came in the wake of another Russian athlete speaking out, then back-tracking, on her statements about homosexuality.
On Friday, Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva claimed she was “misunderstood” when she apparently spoke out in support of her country’s controversial new laws on homosexuality. Isinbayeva, 31, made her comments after other athletes made statements and gestures – including painting their nails in rainbow colours – opposing the Russian law. “It’s disrespectful to our country, disrespectful to our citizens because we are Russians,” Isinbayeva told a news conference – in English – after Swedish athlete high jumper Emma Green-Tregaro criticised the law. “Maybe we are different than European people and people from different lands.” However, a day later, Isinbayeva suggested she was misunderstood because English is not her first language. Sky News
Regardless of whether or not the two runners intended it to be a political statement, it has become one, and at a much-needed time for the homosexual people of Russia.
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