- February 16, 2014
Post submitted by Charlie Joughin, HRC Press Secretary
During day 10 of NBC’s Olympic coverage of the Sochi Winter Games, the network spent 1 minute, 37 seconds of airtime dedicated to Russia’s anti-LGBT “propaganda” law.
TIME DEDICATED ON FRIDAY: 1 minute, 37 seconds
CUMULATIVE TIME DEDICATED SINCE COVERAGE BEGAN: 1 hour, 27 minutes, 26 seconds
Weekends with Alex Witt
Host Alex Witt reports on Billie Jean King being added to the U.S. delegation to the closing ceremonies.
Air Time: 1:01:45pm EST – 1:02:05pm EST – 20 seconds
Transcript: Off the field of play, former tennis champion, Billie Jean King, who missed the opening of the Sochi Olympics, has now been named a member of President Obama’s official delegation to the Games’ closing ceremony. President Obama named King and two other openly gay athletes as part of the delegation inan apparent sign of pro it test against Russia’s anti-gay laws.
Former U.S. Olympian Michael Eruzione discusses his desire for athletes to stay out of politics, including discussing Russia’s anti-LGBT laws.
Air Time: 2:08:26pm EST – 2:09:43pm EST – 1 minute, 17 seconds
Transcript: Last thing, a lot of people maybe outside of the locker rooms like to bring athletes into what's happening outside the arenas, bring into what is happening between -- relations between two countries and also what we're seeing in Russia now with some of the anti -gay laws. Athletes are kind of brought into that. You said in your mind, you were just athletes out there playing. But do you think it's right that -- is it appropriate, do you like to see it happen or no, to have athletes thrown into some of the political back and forth? No, I don't. I don't agree with that. I think the athletes are there to perform. They're there to represent their country. What your opinions are on political stuff is something that should stay away from the arena. I think most of the athletes do a very good job at doing that. We're not there -- I think the athletes are not there to fight political battles or cultural wars. They're there to compete. They're there to represent their country the best way they can, whether it's a gold medal or an eighth place or tenth place finish. I've said many times, when you put the jersey on that says United States, you represent us as a country, as an athlete. What you do after that and what your comments might be after the Olympic Games, that's probably the appropriate time and place to do it. But you're there to play, you're there to compete and represent your country as an athlete and i think we should keep it that way.
HRC will be monitoring NBC’s coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games on the five official Olympics networks - NBC, MSNBC, CNBC, USA Network and NBC Sports – and we will track reporting on the anti-LGBT situation in Russia. For the full 17 day run of the Sochi Games, HRC will track Olympic programming around the clock and provide daily reports on the time they devote to covering the host country’s recently-passed “propaganda” law.
Check back tomorrow at HRC.org/Russia to see how much time NBC devotes to the issue. We’ll continue tracking and updating as more data becomes available. Think we’ve missed something? Let us know in a comment below.
Methodology: Through media tracking software and a team of analysts, HRC will be monitoring NBC’s coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games on the five official Olympics networks - NBC, MSNBC, CNBC, USA Network and NBC Sports – and we will track reporting on the anti-LGBT situation in Russia. Because Olympic events will air sporadically throughout the 17 day run of the Sochi Games, HRC will track all programming 24 hours a day and provide daily reports on the time devoted to covering the host country’s recently-passed “propaganda” law and the current situation for LGBT Russians. If you think we’ve missed a piece of coverage, please let us know in the comments below. For more information on Russia and learn what you can do, visit HRC.org/Russia.