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.


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Dec 2016 @ 5:53pm

    Sad to think that so many right wing conservatives across the world look at Russia and policies like this with admiration.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Wendy Cockcroft, 13 Dec 2016 @ 5:45am

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 9 Dec 2016 @ 6:29pm

    "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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Daydream, 9 Dec 2016 @ 6:38pm

    "Non-traditional" sexual relationships?

    Non-traditional by whose standards? Because I just googled homosexuality and gay sex has been around and accepted since Ancient Egyptian times.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 10 Dec 2016 @ 1:13am

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 11 Dec 2016 @ 7:54pm

      Re: "Non-traditional" sexual relationships?

      By “traditional”, I think they specifically mean “within the monotheistic era”. The fact that human history goes back a lot longer than that doesn’t count, because pagans.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Niall (profile), 12 Dec 2016 @ 6:05am

      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!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    orbitalinsertion (profile), 9 Dec 2016 @ 6:49pm

    such virile threats

    I don't think you meant that, but it's pretty funny.

    Coupled with the Russian governments worry that American streaming media might be a form of HAARP-style mind-control,

    Seems as though you just want to paint something you don't like as a crackpot conspiracy theory...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Dec 2016 @ 7:03pm

    Ironic

    The FIFA series known for its animation glitches that occasionally result in the athletes looking like depraved perverts on the soccer field faces trouble for shoelace color.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Chryss (profile), 9 Dec 2016 @ 8:01pm

    Reminds me of Limbaugh and his Teletubbiephobia.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Dec 2016 @ 2:26am

    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...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Dec 2016 @ 8:16am

    Did any soccer players wear rainbow colored shoe laces?
    Does EA strive to duplicate the real world soccer action people see on the telly?

    wtf

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      PRMan, 10 Dec 2016 @ 12:39pm

      Re:

      Yes. But it's not merely that. EA said, “invites users to support the English football premier league’s Rainbow Laces action, a massive campaign in support of LGBT”.

      Agree or disagree, this violates the Russian law.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Darkhog, 10 Dec 2016 @ 9:37am

    That's it.

    In my 3D platformer I'm so putting up an easter egg that makes player character rainbow-colored on Putin's birthday with no way to turn it off.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Vladimir Putitin, 10 Dec 2016 @ 3:37pm

    Special Edition

    EA should release a special Russian edition without rainbow laces but with visits to the clinic for steroid injections and special blood tests.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2016 @ 3:00pm

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Andrew Pam, 11 Dec 2016 @ 10:31pm

        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.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Chryss (profile), 11 Dec 2016 @ 10:58pm

          Re: Re: Re: Special Edition

          Or they consider it a birth defect or mental illness that must be forcibly "cured." Probably agrees with Trump that climate change is a scam made up by the Chinese.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Niall (profile), 12 Dec 2016 @ 6:11am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Special Edition

            Because if it were a scam to hamstring other economies, why would the Chinese apply it to themselves when they can claim a 'developing' economy?

            Government of Putin (GOP) logic fail #348463233623623492

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        crade (profile), 12 Dec 2016 @ 9:31am

        Re: Re: Special Edition

        If you don't like the rules.. You can pretty much go make your own Olympics. You'll be missed.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        crade (profile), 12 Dec 2016 @ 9:43am

        Re: Re: Special Edition

        Also, in the 70s NHL players used to get called offside for passing over 2 lines.. Now players are allowed to pass over 2 lines.. The NHL owes all those players a big apology!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 12 Dec 2016 @ 6:18am

    It seems to be a pattern nowadays. Staunch homophobic or moralist found engaging in acts he/she vehemently and violently condemns.

    I won't be surprised if at some point Russian politicians involved come out of the closet in a shiny rainbow parade.

    These kinds of people are the worst. They sorely need therapy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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