By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com September 13 2013 3:43 PM ET
In the sporting world, there’s too much silence around Russia’s new antigay law, says NBA commissioner David Stern — but he hasn’t said who’s ordering the silence.
“I’m gonna behave myself, for the record here, which is unlike me,” David Stern said Wednesday in a panel discussion at the Beyond Sport Summit in Philadelphia, reports Philly.com. “But you know, the first phone call to the new head of the Olympics [was] from President [Vladimir] Putin, and everyone wants to talk about the Russian law on homosexuality. Think about the opportunities that sports have to make a continuing statement, and the only thing that we’re saying in that context is ‘Shhhh! No one say anything!’”
Stern didn’t elaborate, but his comment was easily the “most poignant” of the morning, Philly.com notes. The Beyond Sport Summit is an event that focuses on effecting social change through sports. “If the Beyond Sport mantra is to be believed, then the 2014 Olympics are a chance to be a catalytic moment in history,” Philly.com’s Justin Klugh wrote.
Yahoo! Sports commentator Kelly Dwyer, while lauding Stern’s history of opposing homophobia, wished Stern had taken a firmer approach regarding Russia — and other countries that violate human rights, even in situations where it might prove costly to the NBA. “I really wish he’d follow his own advice and take less of a passive/aggressive ‘stand’ here, and actually try to wield a tangible, positive influence on this particular subject in his final days as NBA commissioner,” Dwyer observed.