TORONTO — McDonald’s, and a handful of other sponsors of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, have become the target of protesters who are calling out the companies to end their support of Russia’s anti-gay legislation.
Yesterday, thousands of protestors from All Out, a New York-based gay-rights group, held events at McDonald’s restaurants in more than 20 cities across the world, including Toronto, Vancouver, New York, Madrid, and Jerusalem. “Thousands of people will attend events in cities across the globe urging Olympic sponsors to break their silence on Russia’s anti-gay laws and speak out in support of gay, lesbian, bi, and trans Russians,” reads a statement on All Out’s website. “This is the moment to push sponsors to use their economic power to call for an end to these discriminatory laws.”
McDonald’s released a statement emphasizing that the company doesn’t support discrimination. “McDonald’s supports human rights, the spirit of the Olympics and all the athletes who’ve worked so hard to compete in the Games. We believe the Olympic Games should be open to all, free of discrimination, and that applies to spectators, officials, media and athletes.”
McDonald’s is one of 10 main sponsors of the Sochi Winter Olympics, which also includes Coca Cola, Samsung, Visa and Procter & Gamble Co.