(Warning: this post contains details of the persecution of LGBTQ+ people, and references to the war in Syria, and the novichok poisoning incidents.)
Russia. At the moment there are balls flying everywhere.
And the media seems to have largely forgotten that Russia* has repeatedly had their names entered in the Naughty Book.**
Because they've really been doing a lot of sh** lately.
And we can't forget about that just because your team are kicking a ball around.
*By which I mean the Russian government and regime, not normal Russian citizens/people.
**Did you guys have a 'Naughty Book' and a 'Good Book' in infants/primary school? 😅 There was no bigger threat than having your name put in the Naughty Book! It had a frowny face on the cover and everything!
When England won on Tuesday*, it was the main headline on the BBC 10 o'clock news.
(For those outside the UK - that is THE news authority here.)
Don't get me wrong, it's worthy of being included in the news programme (despite the fact that as a Welsh chick my first instinct is to roll my eyes whenever England sports teams do anything.)
BUT THE LEAD F**KING STORY?!
When there's so much damned sh** happening in the world?!
And when you've been ignoring Russia's human rights abuses since the tournament started?!
I saw nothing on the main news programmes about the arrest of Peter Tatchell for his protest in Red Square.
(Judging by their reaction, one man with a mildly phrased poster is down-right terrifying. I keep telling you that one person can make a difference, dearest nerdlets.)
The news outlets covered it online, yes, but they didn't consider it worthy of the TV news.
Peter Tatchell was standing up for our LGBTQ+ Russian and Chechen siblings who are being murdered and tortured with state approval.
This is an ongoing issue, and while people watch the football and happily ignore what's going on in the background, it's only going to continue.
I'm not saying that you can't watch the football, and enjoy it.
I honestly don't want to stop anyone's enjoyment of sport.
But does that mean that you have to ignore what's happening to your fellow human beings?
I'm sorry if I'm ever-so-slightly souring your enjoyment of getting sloshed and eating burgers while watching the footie - but this is a matter of life and death.
While our LGBTQ+ siblings are in this much PHYSICAL DANGER we, as a community, will not be silent.
I hope that you care enough about our lives, as our allies, to help us in this, and not let Russia, or Chechnya, get away with these Crimes Against Humanity.
And there is a whole freaking litany of other sh** that Russia, and Putin, have pulled.
To name a few:
- interference in the Syrian Civil War
- the murder of Alexander Litvenenko in 2006 - a British citizen on British soil
- the Salisbury poisonings
- interference in the US elections - if you think Russia was not pro-Trump, you are freaking delusional.