Russian Media Attack Tom Daley And Laurel Hubbard With Shocking Anti-LGBTQ Insults

by : Emily Brown on : 06 Aug 2021 18:54
Russian Media Attack Tom Daley And Laurel Hubbard With Shocking Anti-LGBTQ InsultsChannel One Russia/PA

The International Olympic Committee has contacted its broadcasting partner in Russia after presenters on state-run TV channels reportedly made homophobic and anti-trans comments about athletes. 

British diver Tom Daley was one of the athletes targeted in the homophobic commentary made by both hosts and guests on two of Russia’s most popular television channels, with one of the panellists on the channel Russia-1 reportedly describing LGBTQ+ people as an ‘abomination’.


Presenters also apparently mocked New Zealander Laurel Hubbard, who made history at the Olympics by being the first transgender weightlifter to take part in the games.

Laurel Hubbard competes in Olympics (PA Images)PA Images

On the Russian programme 60 Minutes, which aired on July 26, MP and panellist Alexei Zhuravlyov said he was ‘disgusted’ by gay and transgender people and pointed at an image of Hubbard while saying: ‘We stand opposed to all this smut and perversion, strongly opposed. We stand against this abomination.’

Zhuravlyov also used an offensive Russian word to describe gay men, BBC News reports.


Elsewhere, Anatoly Kuzichev, host of Time Will Tell, donned a wig in an effort to mock Hubbard and described transgender people as ‘psychopaths’.

Another Russian MP, Pyotr Tolstoy from the Kremlin’s United Russia party, said the new Olympic motto ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger – Together’ was part of the West’s efforts to ‘implant their agenda of equal rights, additional rights for LGBT, transgender people and other perverts into the Olympic movement’.

Russian channel mocks Laurel Hubbard (Channel One)Channel One

In response to the comments, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said discrimination ‘has absolutely no place at the Olympic Games’ and that it had been in contact with its contractual broadcasting partner in Russia ‘in order to get clarity on the situation and to underline the Fundamental Principles of the Olympic Charter’.


It added: ‘We welcome that Tokyo 2020 has embedded diversity and inclusion in the Olympic Games model.’

The comments made by the presenters come after a record number of openly LGBTQ+ athletes took part in Tokyo 2020, according to analysis by the sports website Outsports, per The Independent.

Russia was officially banned from Tokyo 2020 after being found guilty of state-sponsored doping, though more than 330 Russian athletes are competing at the games as the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC).

Tom Daley (PA)PA Images

Daley has previously admitted that he avoided taking part in a competition in Russia after he came out as gay due to concerns about his safety, saying he felt it was ‘too risky and unsafe’.

Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, have branded efforts to defend LGBTQ+ rights as a subversion of Russian society and statehood, with the president claiming that as other countries ‘forget’ what he described as ‘spiritual and moral values’, Russia has become ‘stronger’.

In 2013, Russian federal laws banned the distribution of so-called ‘propaganda’ which promotes ‘non-traditional sexual relationships’ to those under 18.

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact the LGBT Foundation on 0345 3 30 30 30, 10am–6pm Monday to Friday, or email [email protected]

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Sport, Homophobic, Laurel Hubbard, LGBTQ+, no-article-matching, Olympics, Russia, Tom Daley


BBC News
  1. BBC News

    Tokyo Olympics sparks anti-LGBT slurs on Russian TV