Aussie snowboarding Olympian Bell Brockhoff will wear protest merchandise at the forthcoming Sochi Winter Olympics in February to show support for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community.
According to Courier Mail, Brockhoff will wear the "Principle Six" merchandise, a new clothing line that uses International Olympic Committee's (IOC) own charter language to promote non-discrimination to the LGBT community.
"I'll wear what I have to wear for the team because I am representing Australia," said Brockhoff. "But apart from that, I'll definitely be wearing P6 stuff," she added.
It is no secret that the LGBT community faces discrimination and prejudice in Russia. Anyone can be fined and even taken into custody if he or she speaks about LGBT issues. The "Principle Six" campaign has been established for athletes and fans to address the subject of discrimination during the Sochi Winter Olympics Games without going against the anti-gay laws in Russia.
Brockhoff's made it clear that her decision of wearing the "Principle Six" merchandise is simply to make a point. "It's kind of a way of protesting but not really," said Brockhoff. She said that the protest merchandise is directed to the IOC and not to the Russian government. Thus, it will be harmless for the athletes if they would wear outfits from the said clothing line.
"It's simple," Brockhoff said. "It's powerful and I think it will change a lot of things after the games," she added.
Brockhoff joins several athletes who have also dedicated to working with the campaign to support the LGBT community, including retired professional tennis player Andy Roddick, Wallaby David Pocock, NBA players Steve Nash and Jason Collins, NFL players Scott Fujita, Brendon Ayanbadejo, and Chris Kluwe, Australian National Soccer Team players Lydia Williams and Michelle Heyman, and so other professional athletes.
Brockhoff revealed her sexual orientation in August 2013. After coming out, she had fears that she might run into different problems with Russian government's anti-gay laws.
It remains unclear whether the IOC or the Russian government will take any action against athletes who will wear the said protest merchandise.
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