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06th Aug 2021

IOC investigate Russian TV’s attacks on Tom Daley and Laurel Hubbard

Danny Jones

Presenters called the LGBTQIA+ community an ‘abomination’ and labelled Hubbard a ‘psychopath’

Russian state TV has come under fire after a series of atrocious remarks were directed at the LGBTQIA+ community, specifically at Olympians Tom Daley and Laurel Hubbard.

Daley, who won his first ever gold medal in men’s synchronised diving, and Hubbard, who made history to become the first ever trans athlete to compete in the Games, were subjected to ridicule and disgusting abuse on both Rossiya 1 and Channel One Russia, after multiple presenters and panellists chose to target them.

Rossiya used several homophobic slurs when discussing Daley, with one of the panellists describing LGBTQIA+ people as an “abomination”. A Russian MP called Alexei Zhuravlyov even went on to point at a screen showing Kiwi trans athlete Hubbard, referring to her participation as “smut and perversion”.

Over on Channel One, presenter Anatoly Kuziche decided to don a wig in a short ‘comedic’ skit that mocked Hubbard, whose participation in the Games has been the subject of debate across the globe, let alone in Russia where rights for people in the community are challenged to say the least.

Trigger warning: these images may cause offence.

As well as the wig, Kuzichev branded trans people ‘psychopaths’ and said they needed psychiatric treatment. Another MP, Pyotr Tolstoy, said that their inclusion was part of an attempt by the West to “implant their agenda of equal rights, additional rights for LGBT, transgender people and other perverts into the Olympic movement”.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) – which officially banned Russia from competing in Tokyo over state-sponsored doping – said in a statement that “discrimination has absolutely no place at the Olympic Games” and is now launching a full investigation into the incidents.

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