A Russian lawmaker is trying to ban Nike's #BeTrue line of shoes, shirts and hats because the rainbow-inspired apparel supports LGBT people in sports. According to The Moscow Times, St. Petersburg City Duma Deputy Vitaly Milonov, the shoes are propaganda that breaks Russian national laws against messages aimed at supporting LGBT causes with Russian youth.
All of that despite the fact that the shoes are not available in Russian stores and can only be purchased through Nike's American Web site. So Milonov may be able to claim victory before his homophobic campaign can even get off the ground. Chances are slim Nike will be bringing the #BeTrue line to Moscow before they bring is just about anywhere else in Europe.
"This is another step of imposing on our people perverted values and to steal from people clear ideas about what is acceptable and what is deviant," Milonov told Russian publication Izvestia. "If liberal values are more important for Nike than the tastes and cultural traditions of the peoples of Russia, then our country will not notice the departure of the company from the market in general. The company must change its trade policies or carry statutory penalties for the illegality of their actions."
Nike began producing the #BeTrue line en masse in 2012 and has used the line to raise awareness for LGBT athletes and issues like same-sex marriage. The line has become a popular staple of Pride celebrations across the country. Jason Collins famously wore a #BeTrue shirt in the Boston Pride parade shortly after he came out publicly as gay.