Google, which regularly changes the design of its search page, has put up a new image and message protesting Russia's anti-gay laws as the Winter Olympic Games kick off there. The colorful rainbow logo depicts various athletes playing winter Olympic sports including skiing, hockey, curling, bobsled, ice skating, and snowboarding. Beneath those is a not-so-subtle slam at the International Olympic Committee, highlighting a section of the Olympic charter:
"The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play." - Olympic Charter
The display comes amid intense international pressure on the IOC to address sexual orientation in light of Russia's laws banning pro-gay "propaganda." That law comes with the threat of jail time and fines for what the country deems to be offending speech or material.
Even on Google's Russian home
Besides the US version of its homepage, Google is also running it in other countries, including the Russian version of Google.com and its results pages.
The Olympics are already underway, with some events taking place earlier today. The opening ceremony, which many view as the actual beginning of the games, is scheduled for Friday. In the US, NBC is airing this year's games, and once again plans to tape delay many of the events, which are taking place nine hours ahead of Eastern standard time.