Photo of the Day: Russlan athletes smooch (against LGBT discrimination?)

Gold medallists team Russia celebrate at the women's 4x400 metres relay victory ceremony during the IAAF World Athletics Championships at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow

Two Russian athletes kissed to (probably) protest their country’s anti “gay propaganda” laws on Saturday. Kseniya Ryzhova and Tatyana Firova, members of the Russian women’s 4×400-meter relay team,  kissed on the podium after their team won gold at the World Athletics Championship in Moscow.

Neither athlete has released a statement on their kiss. Russia, of course is claiming it was just a celebratory peck on the lips. I mean, just like there are no gay people in Kenya, I assume there are no gay athletes in Russia. And I would like to officially suggest it was an attempt to turn on male viewers. (Just kidding.) Whether the kiss was intended to spark debate about Russia’s recent crack down on LGBT people, it certainly has.

Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 1.39.06 PMRyzhova and Firova wouldn’t be the first athletes using their celebrity to make a statement against Russia’s draconian policies. US runner Nick Symmonds dedicated the silver medal for the 800m race to his gay and lesbian friends back home on Tuesday. And Swedish athletes Emma Green Tregaro and Moa Hjelmer competed at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Moscow with their fingernails adorned with the colors of the rainbow. High jumper Green Tregaro who nstagrammed her nails, “felt like a simple, small thing that maybe could trigger some thoughts.”
This certainly triggered Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva  who said, “If we allow to promote and do all this stuff on the street, we are very afraid about our nation because we consider ourselves like normal, standard people.” Sadly, Green Tregaro has literally and metaphorically concealed her rainbow solidarity with a coat of red nail polish. This was in response not so much to Isinbayeva’s really persuasive talking points, but to pressure from International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)

See a hot and heavy close-up of the hot and heavy kiss below the jump!



Born and raised on the mean streets of New York City’s Upper West Side, Katie Halper is a comic, writer, blogger, satirist and filmmaker based in New York. Katie graduated from The Dalton School (where she teaches history) and Wesleyan University (where she learned that labels are for jars.) A director of Living Liberally and co-founder/performer in Laughing Liberally, Katie has performed at Town Hall, Symphony Space, The Culture Project, D.C. Comedy Festival, all five Netroots Nations, and The Nation Magazine Cruise, where she made Howard Dean laugh! and has appeared with Lizz Winstead, Markos Moulitsas, The Yes Men, Cynthia Nixon and Jim Hightower. Her writing and videos have appeared in The New York Times, Comedy Central, The Nation Magazine, Gawker, Nerve, Jezebel, the Huffington Post, Alternet and Katie has been featured in/on NY Magazine, LA Times, In These Times, Gawker,Jezebel, MSNBC, Air America, GritTV, the Alan Colmes Show, Sirius radio (which hung up on her once) and the National Review, which called Katie “cute and some what brainy.” Katie co-produced Tim Robbins’s film Embedded, (Venice Film Festival, Sundance Channel); Estela Bravo’s Free to Fly (Havana Film Festival, LA Latino Film Festival); was outreach director for The Take, Naomi Klein/Avi Lewis documentary about Argentine workers (Toronto & Venice Film Festivals, Film Forum); co-directed New Yorkers Remember the Spanish Civil War, a video for Museum of the City of NY exhibit, and wrote/directed viral satiric videos including Jews/ Women/ Gays for McCain.

Katie is a writer, comedian, filmmaker, and New Yorker.

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