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.

Filed Under: , , , ,
Companies: ea

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Russia Accuses EA Of LGBT Propaganda Over Including Rainbow Shoelaces Soccer Players Wore In Real Life”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Wendy Cockcroft (user link) says:

Re: Re:

True conservatism doesn’t have a “wing,” it’s just a desire to maintain the status quo (or to return the status quo to a supposed golden age) and to promote traditional values (this is what they argue about: which traditional values?).

While true Communism was about creating a “voluntarian” anarchic utopia in which the state and the need for money withered away in a sexually liberal society, what we actually got was a more pragmatic iteration in which state capitalism had to be invented (because, as it happens, we need capitalism) and traditional sexual morality was enforced due to the deeply patriarchal nature of Russian society.

In my native Ireland we have a saying, “Aithníonn ciaróg ciaróg eile,” which means, “One beetle knows another beetle,” i.e. it takes one to know one.

So what I’m saying is, we’ve never had true communism on a national scale because conservatives were having none of it. And since conservatives tend to respect authority they’re often authoritarian. This is why the right wing and left wing ones will often appear to be on the same page; they’ve got a lot more in common than they’re willing to admit to.

I know it’s not a proper word, but you get the idea.

That One Guy (profile) says:

"Lock the doors, board up the windows, the Fabulous Brigade is approaching!"

While I certainly don’t want to diminish the suffering and other problems such a law and government stance results in, I can’t help but find it funny picturing all these very serious politicians running in terror and quivering in fright from The Gays, to the point that digital shoelaces are enough to send them scrambling and threatening a country wide block of the game.

David says:

Re: "Non-traditional" sexual relationships?

Well, I don’t know how much of a translation invention “non-traditional” is here. But traditions are formalizations of common activities. A sexual relationship is not a formalization. Marriage is (with institutionalisation being a strong form of formalization). A “traditional” sexual relationship would warrant a dress code and prescribed movements and maneuvers, like Square Dance. To better ensure a commonality in execution, it would warrant being a group activity, or at least performed under group supervision. Probably with prizes, like “most inspiring performance in missionary position”.

Something like that. Traditions really have to be actively maintained or you’ll get people screwing left and right without rhyme or reason which is a “tradition” on the level of a bar brawl.

Niall (profile) says:

Re: "Non-traditional" sexual relationships?

I think it’s largely “whatever the Orthodox Church wants it to be” as backed up by “whatever authoritarian and reactionary elites want it to be”.

Unfortunately the religious ‘vacuums’ of the Communist Era seem to have lead to the Orthodox and Catholic Churches making up for lost time – and proudly marching back to the early last century with social attitudes.

Ban ‘teh gheys’? Yes!
Spend millions on new churches? Yes!
Feed the poor or help the unfortunate? Get lost!

Anonymous Coward says:

To be fair:
The russian regime is compromised by a large majority to Putins party. Some fringe parties on the left wing basically being bookburners and extremely repressive on social issues and right wingers asking for Russia to subdue the countries with rightful russian land and shoot muslims on sight. Both sides are completely insane but they are the only ones allowed to participate in elections.

All the “reasonable” opposition is getting repressed by several means and do not get a chance in the elections.

Putins party (United Russia) can thus act as adjudicators and as the voice of reason in all contexts, thus cementing their position in power.

This is some of the hillarity of the left wing. But it gives Russias government a negotiation chip against Trump…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Special Edition

Er, I’d say the IOC owes Russia a big-league apology. In the ’70s they used to inject athletes with hormones to give them an edge in the event of the opposite sex. Nearly all of them were disqualified for cheating. Now the IOC allows Bruce Jenner-identified mental patients to compete in the “gendered event” of their choice. They won’t strip she/he/it/sh!t of “xyr” medal for competing in a “men’s” track event if he now claims to be female, because objective science is now “bigotry” of some sort.

Well, sounds to me like the Rooskies were ahead of xeir time, if we’re going by the standards of “the current year.” Or we could, you know, get back to normalcy and only allow actual men and women to compete in their respective events, with the cross-dressers going for the glittery gold on RuPaul’s Drag Race or at the Special Olympics. When they ask to use the bathroom, tell them to go to the fire hydrant in accordance with their “identity,” since apparently anyone can sign up to be a sled dog at the Idiotarod.

But I digress, comrade.

Andrew Pam (profile) says:

Re: Re: Special Edition

Oh look, an anonymous poster who thinks that “objective science” only includes two genders. Apparently they never got much past primary school science and have never heard of the various chromosomal, hormonal and other variations that exist. Or they refuse to believe in them, because it doesn’t fit with their existing worldview. That’s the opposite of science.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...