With the opening of the Olympic Games a few days ago, I've been enjoying dialogue with friends on whether the games should just be about athletic achievement, or whether they should be politicized because of the discriminatory policies of the Russian government.
The Ottawa Wolves exist to enable those traditionally under-represented in sport to play rugby. That's a politically sensitive way to say that we encourage participation by those who've been chased off the field all their lives by discrimination or a fear of discrimination. We are a rugby organization, but by our very nature we are also a political organization.
The Russian government has enacted legislation which serves to bully and oppress it's LGBT citizens. They are chasing people off the streets. They are chasing people out of the workplace. They are chasing people off the field. To host the Olympics in this environment is counter to the principles of inclusion that I stand for. The politicization of the Olympics, is not an option, it is essential.
I am grateful that the Wolves support diversity and stand against discrimination in sport. I am proud that we live in Ottawa and that our Mayor, Jim Watson, stands with us against discrimination in sport and all walks of life.
If you've got a half hour to spare, have a look at this documentary that tries to help those who are traditionally 'in power' experience the brutality of discrimination.
President, Ottawa Wolves RFC