Google Joins Criticism of Anti-LGBT Sochi Olympics with Rainbow Doodle

Expanding the LGBTQ Conversation
Feb. 6 2014 7:46 PM

Google Joins Criticism of Sochi Olympics with Rainbow Doodle

Google calls out the IOC's hypocrisy.


Google has joined the chorus of criticism against the International Olympic Committee for its hypocrisy regarding Russia's anti-LGBT discrimination with the posting of a particularly blunt, LGBT-supporting Doodle. The image, a rainbow spread in which each of the letters of Google sit beneath a figure from a different winter sport, appeared on the site on Thursday; in a wonderfully shady manuever, the graphic design of the Doodle appears remarkably similar to the style being used in Sochi-branded materials. And in case there is any doubt as to Google's meaning, the Doodle comes paired with the actual text of Principle 4 of the Olympic Charter, which banishes discimination from the "Olympic spirit": 

The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.

The selection of this line is interesting in light of the growing campaign around Principle 6, the text of which reads: "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." (This has been interpreted to include sexual orientation.) But Google's choice is more apt in certain ways, given Princple 4's more universal commitment to human dignity. 


Update, Feb. 7, 2014: Outward has learned that the Doodle is not only visible in the United States, but also—much more meaningfully—in Russia: 



J. Bryan Lowder is a Slate assistant editor. He writes and edits for Outward, Slate’s LGBTQ section, and for the culture section.



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