GAY global news

Budweiser under fire for sponsoring Russia’s World Cup and Pride events

Written by gaytourism

Gay fan waved flag for every Russian goal. Photo: Fare

LGBTI activists have called out beer company Budweiser for sponsoring the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Voices4 is a group of New Yorkers ‘passionate about using their privilege as out Americans to bring about change around the world’. The group is particularly focused on ending the persecution and execution of gay men in Chechnya. The Chechen Republic is Federal Subject of Russia.

It said Russia’s anti-LGBTI ‘propaganda law’ and the plight of gay men Chechnya violates FIFA’s code of ethics. FIFA is the global soccer governing body.

Voices4 recently started a campaign to call out companies who had sponsored the World Cup, especially Budweiser. It is the ‘official beer of the 2018 World Cup’. The activists argued the company cannot support Pride events while giving money to an event in a violently homophobic country.

‘Including the LGBTQIA+ community in their advertising does not erase their craven decision to financially support a dangerous, homophobic regime,’ said Voices 4’s Elly Brinkley in a statement.

‘The Budweiser brand can’t have it both ways, sponsoring our pride here in the United States and bolstering the economy of a country that openly persecutes us. It’s up to Bud to choose pride over genocide.’

It encouraged people to flood Budweiser’s social media with the hashtag comment, #PrideOverGenocide. The hashtag appeared thousands of times on Budweiser’s Instagram page alone.

The protest forced Budweiser to not post on Instagram for two days during the World Cup.

Budweiser has yet to respond publicly to the protest.

Russia’s homophobic World Cup

The first few days of the month-long soccer tournament, multiple anti-LGBTI incidents had already happened.

Thugs severely beat a gay couple in St Petersburg, leaving one man with a serious brain injury. Police arrested LGBTI activist, Peter Tatchell, in Moscow for protesting about Russia’s anti-gay record. Also, authorities refused to allow a LGBTI safe house to open in St Petersburg, forcing organizers to find a new venue at short notice.

Russian soccer fans also threatened to kill LGBTI fans, while a soccer insider revealed Russian authorities were likely to cover up any LGBTI hate crimes.

These incidents made it all the more reason for corporate sponsors to refuse to support the World Cup.

‘Did Budweiser really think they could sponsor an event where we are beaten in the streets in Russia and march in the streets with us in Pride in New York on the same day? Did they think we do not care about our queer siblings abroad?’ Voices4 founder Adam Eli told LGBTQ Nation.

‘At Voices4, we believe that queer people anywhere are responsible for queer people everywhere. Budweiser needs to clearly speak out against Russia’s anti LGBTQ laws and culutre and ensure queer people and their safety is a priority for FIFA moving forward.’

Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us .