A couple of months ago I reported that Athlete Ally and All Out were joining to offer gear that promotes Principle Six of the International Olympic Committee, which declares opposition to discrimination based on “race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise.” Sales commenced today, reports the New York Times:
Andre Banks, executive director of All Out, said the merchandise “allows us to deliver the Principle 6 message on a scale that would make the campaign incredibly powerful.” American Apparel is to sell the merchandise online, beginning early Monday morning, and in stores around the world, beginning on Jan. 1. The line will include T-shirts, hoodies, hats, bags and underwear. The proceeds from the sales of the merchandise, minus the costs, “will go to benefit Russian L.G.B.T. groups in St. Petersburg and Moscow,” Mr. Banks said. Brian Ellner, a member of the Athlete Ally board, called the merchandise “a safe way for both fans and athletes to be visible and take a stand.” “That’s enormously important,” he added, “but our greatest challenge remains keeping the world focused on the real violence and intimidation the Russian L.G.B.T. community experiences.”
Over four dozen current and former Olympians, gay and straight, will promote the Principle Six gear.