Follow Christiane on social media:

On Twitter + Facebook + Instagram Amanpour producers on Twitter

What time is Amanpour on CNN?

Check showtimes to see when Amanpour is on CNN where you are. Or watch online.

Check showtimes to see when Amanpour is on CNN where you are. Or watch online.

Billie Jean King to gay Russians: ‘You are not alone’

December 19th, 2013
03:02 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

Billie Jean King told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in an exclusive interview on Thursday that rather than boycott the Winter Olympics in Russia over gay issues, perhaps athletes and representatives should engage in civil disobedience.

“Maybe we should wave rainbow flags or something, I don’t know,” she said, drawing an analogy to the Black Power salute – a raised fist – given by two American athletes at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.

“As long as we’re not being malicious,” she said, “we can show our feelings.”

President Obama named the former tennis champion, who is gay, to the American delegation at the Olympics earlier this week.

“I'm very proud to go as an athlete, and as a gay woman,” she said. “I'm thrilled.”

Russia’s hosting of the Olympics has been surrounded by controversy in large measure because of a law enacted earlier this year banning gay “propaganda,” which has contributed to many gay Russians fleeing the country.

“I'm not real big on boycotting,” King told Amanpour. “It has to be absolutely a last resort.”

“I think it's more important to go and be there, and be involved, and be committed to trying to help change – and trying to let people also know if you're gay that you're not alone.”

President Obama himself will not attend the Games; it is the first time in more than a decade that the President, Vice President, First Lady or former president hasn’t attended an Olympic opening or closing ceremony.

King said if the anti-gay law was the reason for the President’s non-attendance he should “go ahead and say it,” but added – with tongue in cheek – that he was “sending a ‘King’ instead of a president.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a press conference Thursday, knocked down criticism over the law as “Western values.”

“What is important is to defend our society from…values which are received in a difficult way by our citizens,” President Putin said.

“When he says that, I feel like, ‘What are you, in the 18th century, 19th century or what?,” King said. “I think our values are excellent…They're creating laws that are just very intolerant to others.”

CORRECTION: A previous version of this post said that it was the first time in more than a decade that an American president has not attended the Olympic Games. In fact, it is the first time in more than a decade the President, Vice President, First Lady or former president hasn’t attended an Olympic opening or closing ceremony.


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Gay Rights • Latest Episode
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Anon

    As a gay man, I support protesting for our rights in general, but not in this instance. The spirit of the Olympics is to put aside politics and celebrate achievement. The best thing gay athletes can do for the cause in my eyes is to proudly bring home the gold.

    December 19, 2013 at 7:43 pm | Reply
  2. Pandora

    Comparing the show of black power to rainbow ? Seriously, bunch of proud and brave virile men/women standing up against racial discrimination cannot be equated to a bunch of mentally imbalanced, effeminate, morally bankrupt perverts who cannot distinguish between moral and amoral.

    December 19, 2013 at 11:12 pm | Reply
    • keith royle

      do you mean a bunch of militant would be crack heads without morals or parenting skills

      December 20, 2013 at 2:31 pm | Reply
  3. Berg

    We will not send any highly ranking American to Sochi so said the USA
    Now they decided to send PIGS and MAGGOTS.
    Mr USA please send those animals to MUGABE.

    December 20, 2013 at 3:46 am | Reply
    • Jesus

      Mr Berg, Go fark yourself.

      December 20, 2013 at 6:07 pm | Reply
  4. M Alexander

    I have heard many reasons why the west and sympathetic countries around the world who have committed themselves to attending the sochi winter olympics – why they should boycott these games since Putin and his Russia have passed such unpalatible laws conerning the LGBT community.

    In this regard, I think not only SHOULD these countries, those who do have legislation which protects the LGBT community and the rights they have as citizens – as Human beings – they must compete but... not take part in any ceremonies, the opening, the medals presenations nor the closing ceremonies – we must show our disdain for these laws, compete – win – leave!

    I would hope that the heads of state of the countries who opt out of the grandiose side of these games would offer to present the medals to their athletes and accord them their time in the spotlight while also being in the right side of history – leave Putin to his opening ceremonies with just a handful of countries – he'd hate that ultimate snub – nothing less than he deserves!

    M Alexander

    December 20, 2013 at 2:40 pm | Reply
  5. rockyFjord

    before getting all steamed up, maybe Billie Jean should read the Russian law, which relates to proselytizing minors into the gay lifestyle. I know lesbians and gays like to turn them while they are young, but Russia's parents say you shall not do that to their kids. Sorry if you will miss out on some gay pedophilia fun!

    December 20, 2013 at 7:18 pm | Reply
    • Verbal Voley

      Say WHAT?! How far behind in the twentieth century are you? You don't sit your son or daugfhter at the kitchen table at X years of age and say, "So...Are you going to be gay or straight...Tell me now?". It is all a simple matter of genetics. No one CHOOSES to be who or what they are. The sooner the minority realizes that the better for the country and the world. You are who and what you are, and may God bless you for whatever side you should happen to come down upon at BIRTH.

      December 22, 2013 at 6:25 pm | Reply
  6. Pleaseignoreme

    Hey hey hey, your countries pay for you to compete on behalf of the nation. YOU SHOULD BE WAVING YR COUNTRY'S FLAG PERIOD!

    December 21, 2013 at 1:46 am | Reply
  7. Richard

    You are absolutely right, get politics out of the Olympics and keep it out. Some of these athletes have trained for 4 or more years just for this one moment. Don't spoil it for them. Yes, we root for our country to win as do citizens from other countries root for their team. But we all enjoy the games, win or lose.

    December 21, 2013 at 7:02 am | Reply
  8. kovilovo

    Guys are just sick !

    December 21, 2013 at 5:29 pm | Reply
  9. arun kottur

    Mam please blink at India

    December 21, 2013 at 8:06 pm | Reply
  10. Ernesto Shullick

    You definitely put a new twirl on a subject that's been written about for years. Noteworthy stuff, just extraordinary! I enjoy reading a post that will make people think, thanks and we want more! Added to FeedBurner too. If you have a opportunity check out my website. It's a work in progress, but I suppose that someday it will have nearly as good of content as yours. kelly kosky

    https://www.ptindirectory.com/tax-preparers/colorado/denver-co/1061108/kelly-kosky

    November 29, 2020 at 12:31 pm | Reply
  11. detectives en ocaña

    detectives privados orihuela

    https://www.argadetectives.com/detectives-en-ponferrada-leon.html

    December 11, 2020 at 9:15 pm | Reply
  12. Celia Irvin

    You ought to indulge in a tournament for example of the best blogs on-line. I’m going to recommend this page!

    http://6dollarmillion.xyz

    December 20, 2020 at 2:31 pm | Reply
  13. earn passive income in 2021

    Earn 100 commissions of up to 900+ dollars DAILY. 90 Second Set Up – Beta Tested Proven 24-7 AUTOPILOT Income – 100 New Income System Never Before Seen. More details: https://bit.ly/2YfQFcC

    https://bit.ly/2YfQFcC

    December 26, 2020 at 9:37 am | Reply
  14. Sibyl Fuhrer

    I have Joomla and a Joomla template(rt_refraction_j15) installed on my website. But i want the same template and css styling, as a basic HTML template, so i don't have to use Joomla for editing. Is there an easy way to convert the template to basic HTML/CSS template?.

    https://ask-cloudkicker.tumblr.com/

    January 23, 2021 at 5:01 am | Reply
  15. Jenni Lamothe

    Social network traffic Facebook likes Twitter Followers Instagram Followers and much more

    https://bit.ly/3iOPatX

    January 26, 2021 at 4:34 pm | Reply
  16. Georgiana Poch

    Do you want get more social network traffic, likes, subscribers? Our Company provide SMM Services that means (Social Media Marketing) that is directly using social network websites such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to promote a website. High Quality Services / Our prices are the cheapest in the market, starting at $0.01 / 24/7 Support / API Support for panel leaders / Best prices

    https://bit.ly/3iYGuRO

    January 26, 2021 at 9:31 pm | Reply
  17. Gus Rohlfs

    Social network traffic Facebook likes Twitter Followers Instagram Followers and much more

    https://bit.ly/3iYGuRO

    January 27, 2021 at 12:26 am | Reply
  18. Ricky Dubeck

    Social network traffic Facebook likes Twitter Followers Instagram Followers and much more

    https://bit.ly/3iOPatX

    January 27, 2021 at 12:44 pm | Reply
  19. Richard Domagalski

    https://www.electricpercolatorcoffeepot.com/10-top-coffee-bloggers/

    January 28, 2021 at 10:04 pm | Reply
  20. Make-Money-Online 2021

    Get Our Passive Income System – Step 1: Get our ready made niche websites, Step 2: Run our Premium Unlimited Traffic Step 3: Setup your Paypal account. Then just sit back and relax while you watch your paypal account receiving payments during the whole day 100 in auto pilot. More info: https://www.k3reviews.com/2020/08/16/monster-mode-700k/

    https://bitly.com/2EgbfPr

    January 30, 2021 at 8:48 pm | Reply
  21. Donnette Jatho

    Get Our Passive Income System – Step 1: Get our ready made niche websites, Step 2: Setup your Paypal account. Step 3: Run our Unlimited Traffic System from 850 sources of traffic (Approximately 35000 views/day guaranteed). Then just wait and earn your income 100 on autopilot.

    https://warriorplus.com/o2/a/c9n3t/0

    February 5, 2021 at 7:36 pm | Reply
  22. Lili Mancill

    Earn 500 a Day With Our Passive Income System Doing These 3 Steps: Step 1: Get our ready made niche websites, Step 2: Setup your Paypal account. Step 3: Run our Unlimited Traffic System from our Free 850 sources of traffic and start earning your income in same day.

    https://warriorplus.com/o2/a/k9hc6/0

    February 6, 2021 at 5:34 am | Reply
  23. Winford Khov

    Get Our Passive Income System – Step 1: Get our ready made niche websites, Step 2: Run our Premium Unlimited Traffic Step 3: Setup your Paypal account. Then just sit back and relax while you watch your paypal account receiving payments during the whole day 100 in auto pilot. More info: https://www.k3reviews.com/2020/08/16/monster-mode-700k/

    https://www.k3reviews.com/

    February 13, 2021 at 3:11 am | Reply
  24. 500000Scrapebox CommentBacklinks

    Best Social Media Services and Website Traffic Services 2021: https://www.seoclerk.com/user/jackpower99

    https://www.seoclerk.com/Virtual-Assistant/840836/I-will-create-a-profitable-digital-marketing-strategy-and-plan

    February 16, 2021 at 12:17 pm | Reply
  25. SocialMedia Services2021

    Best Marketing Services – Cheapest on Market. SMM Supreme is the Top 5 Best Social Media Website in the World. Best Quality-Price Ratio on the market with 714,928 orders until now. – Facebook Fan Page Likes for $4.50/1000 – Instagram Followers for $0.78/1000 – Youtube Views: $1.62/1000 – Twitter followers: $2.10/1000 – Paypal Deposit – Bitcoin Deposit – Fast order processing – 1 Hour Delivery Our Website: https://smmsupreme.com/services

    https://bit.ly/3iOPatX

    February 19, 2021 at 2:26 pm | Reply
  26. Online Casino Thai

    Your blog is nice. Plenty of good content

    https://www.google.co.jp/url?q=https://www.onlinecasino-thai.com/

    March 3, 2021 at 6:54 am | Reply
  27. Toby Depierro

    https://www.electricpercolatorcoffeepot.com/10-top-coffee-bloggers/

    March 4, 2021 at 10:20 am | Reply
  28. Majorie Burtner

    https://www.electricpercolatorcoffeepot.com/10-top-coffee-bloggers/

    March 6, 2021 at 2:30 pm | Reply

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.