Russia Accuses EA Of LGBT Propaganda Over Including Rainbow Shoelaces Soccer Players Wore In Real Life
from the it's-in-the-game dept
As you will recall, in 2013 Russia instituted a delightfully obtuse piece of legislation that made it illegal to disseminate “propaganda” within the country that centered around “non-traditional sexual relationships.” This law, designed essentially to both push the LBGT community back into the closet and to effectively criminalize being too gay in public, has butted heads with modernity several times now. The silver lining in this is that the law’s practical application has forced its supporters to publicly display exactly how petty and silly they are, as powerful legislators attempt to take action against such virile threats as emojis. Coupled with the Russian governments worry that American streaming media might be a form of HAARP-style mind-control, not to mention the government’s willingness to show the world how its vaguely-crafted legislation can be used purely to silence dissenting speech, Russian officials have painted quite a picture of the country’s lack of a commitment to basic freedoms.
But where slapping around dissenting political speech is par for the authoritarian course, the laser focus the Russian government has on our LGBT brothers and sisters is confounding. That bigotry exists is not news, but Russia’s dedication to it from a legislative perspective reeks of distraction-farming. And, as said previously, it can reach really silly levels, such as members of the Russian government calling on a ban of EA Sports’ FIFA17 game, purely because the game includes the option to have players wear rainbow shoelaces, as their real-life counterparts did.
Communist MPs sent a letter to the communications oversight and state consumer protection agencies complaining that the popular EA Sports football game, which is rated all ages, “invites users to support the English football premier league’s Rainbow Laces action, a massive campaign in support of LGBT”, Izvestia newspaper reported.
United Russia MP Irina Rodnina, a former figure skater who won three Olympic gold medals for the Soviet Union, told Izvestia that the authorities needed to “verify the possibility of distributing this game on the territory of the Russian Federation”.
We should congratulate our Russian friends on being first to market on this kind of bigotry. After all, the game is also available in Saudi Arabia, a country not known for its liberal policies on homosexuality, yet Russia beat them to the punch. That’s quite a feat for the homophobic.
But this is what you get with authoritarian regimes that play in the world of social policies. There are far worse applications of Russia’s anti-gay law that one can reference, but there is value of spotlighting the otherwise hilarious absurdity of the federal government of a nuclear power campaigning against a video game over rainbow shoelaces. Anyone who might have thought that this law had important work to do within Russia cannot possibly still think that there isn’t overreach.