A US gay swimmer has written a flirtatious letter to the Russian president in hopes to persuade him to treat LGBT people with ‘grace, compassion, and respect.’
‘As much as a world leader, you are an international celebrity as a proud, buff dude. Millions who admire sportsmen have seen photos of you shirtless.’
This is how four-time gold medalist Richard Alther began his letter to Putin, published in the Huffington Post.
Describing Putin as a James Bond Daniel Craig lookalike, saying: ‘Compared to most political heavy hitters, from Germany’s Angela Merkel to our very own New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, you’re downright hot.’
In Alther’s letter, he described the upcoming Olympic Games in Sochi ‘a sterling moment for Russia,’ but wanted an appeal for a more respectful atmosphere towards gay athletes and spectators attending the events.
He added: ‘Now, we’re not asking to wear pink Speedos in the pool or basket-prominent leotards on the track and field. We simply want to strut out stuff (sound familiar?), which is sheer, bloody perseverance and skill at our sport.’
He then mentioned a brutal killing of a gay man in Volgograd in May as a symbol of Russian intolerance towards homosexuals, but also deliberated more on hate crimes happening all around the world.
Alther then ended the letter to President Putin with a plea for acceptance.
‘We all know you’re a macho man, which can be cool. Show that it takes a real man to treat others — meaning everyone — with grace, compassion, and respect.’