What is Principle 6?
Principle 6, a campaign inspired by the values of the Olympic charter, is a way for athletes, spectators and global supporters to celebrate the Olympic principle of non-discrimination and speak out against Russia’s anti-gay laws before the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
In Russia, you can be fined or arrested for speaking out publicly about gay, lesbian, bi or trans issues. The Principle 6 campaign uses the language of the Olympic Charter to allow athletes and fans to speak out against this discrimination during the Sochi Games without violating Russian anti-gay laws or violating the Olympic ban on political speech.
Under pressure from Athlete Ally and All Out, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has confirmed that Principle 6 includes sexual orientation, but the IOC and sponsors still refuse to speak out against the anti-LGBT Russian laws.
Where did the idea for Principle 6 come from?
Principle 6 of the Olympic Charter states that “Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement,” and the IOC has confirmed that this includes sexual orientation. But in Russia, you can now be fined or arrested for speaking publicly about gay, lesbian, bi or trans issues. The new laws have fueled a massive surge in anti-gay violence within the country. The Principle 6 campaign uses the language of the Olympic Charter to give athletes and fans a way to speak out against this violence and discrimination before and during the Sochi Olympics without breaking Russian anti-gay laws or violating the Olympic ban on political speech.
By openly supporting Principle 6, everyone can celebrate the values that inspire the Olympic Games and stand in solidarity with lesbian, gay, bi and trans people in Russia and around the world. Both All Out and Athlete Ally thank Idea Brand for helping incubate the concept behind Principle 6.
Who is already a part of the Principle 6 campaign?
Sochi-bound Olympians, including snowboarder Belle Brockhoff, Australian bobsled team captain Heath Spence alpine skier Mike Janyk, and Canadian snowboarder Alex Duckworth are just a few of the on-site ambassadors in Russia who will promote the Principle 6 message. Additional Olympic athletes engaged in the campaign include four-time Olympic gold medal diver Greg Louganis, four-time Olympic luger and International Sports Law expert Cameron Myler and two-time Olympic middle-distance runner Nick Symmonds, who immediately after winning the Silver Medal at this past August’s World Championship in Moscow, dedicated the win to his gay and lesbian friends and openly criticized Russia’s anti-gay laws. Other Olympians that have signed on to support the campaign include Australian tennis player and four-time Olympian Rennae Stubbs, ParaPan Am gold medalist archer Lee Ford, figure skater Mark Janoschak, gold medalists and soccer players Megan Rapinoe and Lori Lindsey, soccer players Hedvig Lindahl, Sally Shipard, Robbie Rogers and Chris Seitz, two-time gold medalist rower Caryn Davies, Irish Olympic runner Ciarán Ó Lionáird, former Soviet Archer Khatuna Lorig, US basketball star Teresa Edwards, US swimmer Dan Veatch, US Paralympian Tanner Gers, Australian bobsledders Jana Pittman, Duncan Harvey, Astrid Radjenovic, Anthony Ryan, Lucas Mata, and Gareth Nichols, Canadian biathlete Rosanna Crawford, Canadian snowboarder Alex Duckworth, US silver medalist diver Scott Donie, US runner Suzy Favor Hamilton, US paralympic tennis player Sharon Kelleher, Paralympic bronze medalist Lindsey Carmichael, wrestler Ben Provisor, tennis standouts Martina Navratilova, Andy Roddick, Mardy Fish and James Blake, rower Esther Lofgren and Paralympic Australian basketball player Sarah Stewart. Also, Australian Olympic trampoline silver medalist and HIV activist Ji Wallace, Swiss snowboarder Simona Meiler, American fencer Race Imboden, US diver David Pichler, US snowboarders Callan Chythlook-Sifsof and Seth Wescott, Canadian speed skater Anastasia Bucsis, German bronze medal fencer Joerg Fiedler, US Paralympic tennis player Sharon Kelleher, US speed skater and silver medalist Miriam Rothstein, German silver medal fencer Imke Duplitzer, and US beach volleyball player Jen Kessey, have added their names to the growing list.
Professional athletes also involved in the campaign include NFL stars Chris Kluwe, Brendon Ayanbadejo, Scott Fujita, and Donté Stallworth; tennis standouts Martina Navratilova, Andy Roddick, James Blake and Mardy Fish; MLS players Stephen McCarthy and Robbie Rogers; NBA/WNBA players Steve Nash, Jason Collins, Teresa Edwards and Kristi Toliver; basketball player Dan Gruneld; rugby player David Pocock; race car driver Leilani Munter; and Australian national soccer team players Michelle Heyman and Lydia Williams. Also included is world renowned endurance swimmer Diana Nyad.
What happens when someone buys Principle 6 gear?
Wearing Principle 6 gear will show support for the Olympic value of non-discrimination and is a tangible way to speak out against the anti-gay laws and violence in Russia leading up to the 2014 Winter Games. After covering costs, proceeds from merchandise sales will directly benefit LGBT groups in Russia.