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Dutch brass band may play ‘YMCA’ at Sochi to show its support for gay rights

Saturday, January 25, 2014
Kevin Frayer, AP (File)The Dutch brass band Kleintje Pils, or Small Beer, entertains at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Kevin Frayer, AP (File)
The Dutch brass band Kleintje Pils, or Small Beer, entertains at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia.

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The Dutch brass band that always performs at Olympic speed skating ovals is considering playing a popular gay song — “Y.M.C.A.” — at the Sochi Winter Olympics to show its support for gay rights.

It remains to be seen how Russian and Olympic authorities would react should the Kleintje Pils band play a song widely considered to be a gay anthem. A ban on information about “nontraditional sexual relations” signed into law by Russian President Vladimir Putin has provoked widespread international outrage from critics who believe it discriminates against gays.

Band leader Ruud Bakker told The Associated Press this week that Kleintje Pils could mix the Village People’s “Y.M.C.A.” in its sing-along repertoire as “a signal.” But he added that the band didn’t want to antagonize organizers or turn its performances into a “political game.”

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“We will see if we can get one or two songs into the selection, knowing that in the Netherlands it will be seen as a signal we are thinking of them (gays),” Bakker said.

The band, which keeps speed skating crowds rocking during ice resurfacing breaks at Olympic competitions, is best known for its stirring rendition of Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” and Queen’s “We are the Champions.” Usually they get the thousands of fans of all nationalities to dance along as they walk around the big oval with the permission of organizers. Mixing in a political message would be a new move.

The band performed “Y.M.C.A.” at the 2002 Salt Lake City games but has not played it since then. It has also practiced some Russian songs for the Sochi Olympics, which run Feb. 7-23.

Indirect moves by athletes to show support for gays have already caused controversy in Russia. At last August’s world athletics championships in Moscow, Swedish high jumper Emma Green Tregaro sported rainbow colors on her nails. In the final, however, Green Tregaro went with red nails after track officials said her earlier gesture might violate the meet’s code of conduct.

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Filed under: Arts & Entertainment, Olympics

43 more reader comments:

  1. Russia winter Olympics will be the gayest games in history just to piss off Putin.. And i like that :D

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 8:00pm
  2. So true,lol

    Replied on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 11:12pm
  3. I think that's gonna be true

    Replied on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 1:34am
  4. Say JJJesus somebody! Jesus = Gay Love

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 8:00pm
  5. Stuck in a Meican prison again. lol ;) ;)

    Replied on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 8:03pm
  6. Pretty sad when YMCA is viewed as representative of my community.

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 8:01pm
  7. You have a point, but don't forget the times that it came from. The Gay Liberation movement had risen out of the Stonewall Riots and become a national force in a single decade after being hidden and underground for so long up until then. YMCA was a song of joy and freedom that gave us something to dance to and helped us to feel proud of ourselves and part of what was to become the LGBT community we have today. Maybe it's not the most enlightened symbol we could have, but history is important ;)

    Replied on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 8:38pm
  8. They could do "We are Family" that's another of our anthems.

    Replied on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 8:48pm
  9. Lighten up. It's a campy song. It's all ways good to have a little camp tossed out during very serious moments.

    Replied on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 9:30pm
  10. yeah i think We are family would be alot better.

    Replied on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 9:57pm
  11. ...I happen to enjoy the YMCA .-.

    Replied on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 8:42am
  12. I wouldn’t don’t set more fire to the flame,let Russian law be stupid on their own

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 8:02pm
  13. May? =is this really news!?

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 8:02pm
  14. Briliant!!!!!

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 8:05pm
  15. there is no sugar coating this this is disgraceful

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 8:05pm
  16. Ymca, gay anthem? I doubt!

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 8:12pm
  17. Sorry you don't know, but yeah, it's been for quite some time.

    Replied on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 8:48pm
  18. Go for it

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 8:20pm
  19. awesome

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 8:27pm
  20. Do it, do it! Awesome idea!

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 8:28pm
  21. Why not “Same Love”? DUH. Or even “We Are the Champions”? Olympically themed and comes from a band that had a very talented homosexual lead singer… -.- At least they’re trying.

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 8:34pm
  22. They should do a mash-up of “YMCA” and “Dancing Queen.” Would that be too obvious?

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 8:48pm
  23. How about Everbodys Free (to feel good)!?!

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 8:51pm
  24. :)

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 8:58pm
  25. Proud to be dutch

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 9:05pm
  26. I have a feeling there is going to to be show after show of support. I wonder how it will pan out.

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 9:22pm
  27. how about someone singing “I am What I Am”?

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 9:27pm
  28. Cool….USA should had gotten the VILLAGE PEPA

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 9:37pm
  29. Gayest games ever…….You invited this, PUtin.

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 11:20pm
  30. This is amusing, but I’d much rather everyone stayed home. Somehow, it feels like Putin has the last laugh as the games boost the Russian economy with increased tourism and publicity.

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 11:23pm
  31. hehehe!

    Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 11:40pm
  32. Play it brothers do it play our Russian gay brothers need so much support by any means right now!

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 1:32am
  33. They should wear rainbow outfits

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 1:46am
  34. Far out. (Yes, I’m dating myself a bit with that, but really… far out.)

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 4:15am
  35. How is YMCA a song for the homosexuals? Anyone explain?

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 5:43am
  36. Lets hope they carry on the tradition.

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 5:57am
  37. What does men in leather chaps and hardhats have ANYTHING to do with homosexuality besides further perpetuating the idea that you can “look gay”? Great idea but an obscure message is really unhelpful.

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 6:16am
  38. nice Euphonium :D

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 9:27am
  39. Omg his can someone ask how the YMCA us a song for homosexuals. Hello? Sung by a band consisting if mainly gay men. Targeted originally at a disco loving gay audience and the premise of the song is young men getting what they need at an all male establishment notorious at the time for gay cruising. Even the Village People themselves acknowledge it’s a gay song.

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 9:28am
  40. I’m thinking people other than me on this post need to lighten up. I expressed an opinion,I’m certainly not in a frenzy over some tired ass mass market disco song from the 70s. In the gay clubs I went to in L. A.,San Diego,Miami,Ft. Lauderdale,etc.,back during the times YMCA and other VP songs were out,their songs were guaranteed to empty the dance floor by half…the hot music was the hard driving power disco.

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 10:49am
  41. Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 12:44pm
  42. The Dutch are so cool!!!

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 1:57pm
  43. Well, I’m sure everyone appreciates that..but, it won’t change much and won’t make me tune in this time.

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 2:37pm