Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s anti-gay law brought to mind a quote from Niemoller, a German Protestant pastor who spent seven years in a Nazi concentration camp for being an outspoken foe of Hitler. He said “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.”
Let’s not let history repeat itself by letting others condemn innocent people. We must stand up for everyone’s right to exist with tolerance and compassion. Boycotting sports that young people have trained for for years is not the answer. All countries could ensure the safety of all our athletes by demanding written safeguards from Putin for all people attending. That could be the first step in ending this law.