25 Feb 2014 02:14 PM EST
-by Alex Mangini, Staff Writer; Image: Chuck Schumer at NYC Gay Pride in 2007 (Image Source: David Shankbone / Wikimedia Commons)
Just a day after the Winter Olympics came to a close in Sochi, Russia, New York Senator Chuck Schumer offered up some harsh words for the International Olympic Committee, blasting their decision to grant the games to a country with such a checkered history of human rights violations.
According to Schumer, who released a statement yesterday calling for a complete overhaul of the current process used to select countries, the potential host nations’ records on human rights should be taken into account when making any decision.
Much of the discussion before the games centered around the lack of LGBT rights in Russia, or more-so, the presence of anti-gay laws. That is only the tip of the iceberg, Schumer said, as he called for widespread reform.
“It boggles my mind that the IOC chose to play these games in Sochi at all,” the New York Democrat explained. “Unfortunately, awarding the Olympic Games to a bad actor does not seem to be a rare occurrence for the Olympics. In the past six years, we have had two countries with shoddy human rights records hosting the games – Russia and China. And I believe we are sending the wrong message by continuing to give a platform to these countries and their leaders by awarding them the most precious international sporting event we have.”
The United States, of course, has a tense relationship with Russia and President Vladimir Putin. Schumer said that he plans on submitting a formal letter to the IOC.