Dutch band may play ‘Y.M.C.A.’ at Sochi OlympicsOnline Only, Top Highlights, Section 4A, Entertainment News Tuesday, January 21st, 2014
Rumors have surfaced that popular Dutch band, Kleintje Pils, may include the popular gay anthem, “Y.M.C.A.” as part of its musical repertoire this year at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, according to a report on TalkingPointsMemo.com.
The Dutch brass band that always performs at Olympic speed skating ovals is considering playing the iconic song as a sign of support for [LGBT] rights. According to TPM, “Band leader Ruud Bakker told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Kleintje Pils could mix the Village People’s “Y.M.C.A.” in its sing-along repertoire as “a signal.” But he added that the band didn’t want to antagonize organizers or turn its performances into a “political game.”
Indirect moves by athletes to show support for gays have already caused controversy in Russia. At last August’s world athletics championships in Moscow, Swedish high jumper Emma Green Tregaro sported rainbow colors on her nails. In the final, however, Green Tregaro went with red nails after track officials said her earlier gesture might violate the meet’s code of conduct.
For many, the Sochi Olympics have become a cause célèbre, highlighting the hostility, and in many cases indifference, that Russians have shown toward the plight of the LGBT community since Russian President Vladimir Putin enacted several legislative measures aimed at stopping the spread of what he calls LGBT ‘propaganda’ directed at children. As a result, violence toward that community has increased. Just yesterday, media news outlets reported that Putin said he has no animosity directed at gay people and that he has gay friends, despite the fact he compared homosexuals to pedophiles.
For others, the Sochi Olympics are a slap in the face of human rights and a symbol of an impotent steering committee that has overlooked not only the attacks on the LGBT community but other Russian groups (including the Caucasians) that have fallen victim to the heavy hand of Putin’s government.
And on Saturday, a gay Russian protester was detained for unfurling a rainbow flag during the Olympic torch relay as it passed through his hometown of Voronezh, 560 miles (910 kilometers) north of Sochi, where the games will begin Feb. 7. Photos uploaded by his friends show Pavel Lebedev pulling out the flag and then being detained by Olympic security personnel, who wrestle him to the snow as they wait for police to arrive.
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