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Russia bans Warwick rowers naked calendar for being ‘gay propaganda’

Russia bans Warwick rowers naked calendar for being ‘gay propaganda’

Warwick Rowers strip off again for 2017 calendar

Russia has banned the Warwick rowers naked calendar for being ‘gay propaganda’.

The calendar, which raises money for Sport Allies – a charity tackling homophobia in sport – was rejected by customs officials.

It features Warwick University’s rowing team of young British lads in the buff.

Since 2009, the project has raised awareness, eyebrows, and we’re sure other things as well.

Russia bans Warwick naked rowers calendar for ‘illegal content’

It reportedly raises a six figure sum every year for Sport Allies.

But now six calendars have been returned from Russia, due to ‘illegal content’.

Angus Malcolm, a Warwick Rowers calendar producer and Sport Allies chairman, said they were targeted.

The makers claim their website was hit by a distributed denial of service which sent thousands of visits per second to their website shortly after. They said it was later traced to an IP address in Russia.

‘If they can’t cope with a few naked bums, then frankly that’s quite sad.’

He told the Independent: ‘My heart goes out to the rowers’ Russian fans, who are increasingly subjected to acts of hatred and discrimination that shouldn’t be tolerated in any society anywhere across the globe.

‘The fact Russian customs rejected our calendar is nothing compared to the suffering some LGBT+ people face every day, but it acts as a signifier of the wider problem.

‘If they can’t cope with a few naked bums, then frankly that’s quite sad.’

He added: ‘With the rise of Putin’s brand of populism around the world, we have never needed straight allies like the Warwick Rowers more than we do now.’

Russia has banned several products for ‘gay propaganda’

Russia has banned several products over the years for their LGBTI inclusivity.

They banned FIFA 17 after it was made possible for players to dress their soccer team in a rainbow kit.

EA Sports did this as part of the Rainbow Laces campaign, an action to try to eradicate homophobia in football.

Russia’s censors also tried to ban Apple after they introduced LGBTI-inclusive emojis. This was swiftly thrown out by a Moscow court.

The ‘gay propaganda’ law has led to many individuals and groups being fined for ‘promoting homosexuality to children’. It also led to the closure of Children 404, an online support group for LGBTI teens.