Russia President Vladimir Putin today wrote a New York Times today op-ed in which he warned that American aggression in Syria "will result in more innocent victims and escalation" while also reinforcing the image of the United States as a bully. This letter, which ends with Putin taking a dig at "American exceptionalism," is just one of the many ways Putin has turned the Syrian civil war, and U.S. response to it, into a vehicle for his own gain. Yesterday, before Putin's letter was published, New York Times reporter Steven Lee Myers wrote that "Putin has eclipsed Mr. Obama as the world leader driving the agenda in the Syria crisis."
But as Putin tries to soak up international goodwill, let's not forget that his country still has some of the most anti-gay laws found in the developed world. And let's also not forget that there are thousands upon thousands of people protesting those very laws and Russia's role as host for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Being the internet age, these protests aren't just happening outside embassies or in congressional debates, but online, where pro-equality athletes are being asked to show their LGBT love on the new Tumblr, The Olympic Spirit.
Started about three weeks ago, the site's been growing slowly, but has already featured two former Olympians: Australian swimmer Marilyn Chua and Austrian swimmer Elvira Fischer. Many of the other athletes are from universities, including The University of Michigan, which is where the man above, Carlos Sayao, swims.
If you're an Olympic hopeful, former Olympian or an athlete of any sort, head over to Olympic Spirit to show your support. As for us non-athletes, I guess we'll have to protest in other ways. Cosplay, anyone?