With the opening ceremonies in Sochi just hours away, Google has updated its home page with a rainbow-colored Olympic-themed version of its iconic logo, an apparent sign of in solidarity with LGBT Russians, visiting athletes and Olympic spectators.
The visual gesture also comes with an edge — Google quotes a portion of the Olympic Charter which many gay rights advocates say has been undermined by the decision to host the game in a nation with anti-LGBT laws.
“The practice of sport is a human right,” the Olympic Charter reads. “Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.”
Clicking on the logo leads to the Google search results for the phrase “Olympic Charter.”
The gesture comes after months of frustration and anger with the International Olympic Committee and Olympic corporate sponsors for their failure to speak out against Russia’s law restricting gay rights activities
Led off by a blog post from AT&T on Tuesday, a total of three sponsors of the U.S. Olympic team have openly condemned the law so far, but leading global sponsors have not joined them.
Article continues belowThe updated logo appears on Google pages worldwide. Although Google typically updates its themed daily Doodles at midnight Eastern time, the logo’s late afternoon debut means it will be seen in Russia on the day of the Olympics’ opening ceremony.
Google and its founders have been outspoken supporters of gay rights since 2008, when the company got involved in the campaign to defeat a gay marriage ban on the California ballot.
In 2012 it launched a global workplace safety campaign, called “Legalise Love,” that it described as a call to decriminalize homosexuality and eliminate homophobia around the world. The company also recognizes gay pride season each year by customizing search boxes to turn rainbow-colored when terms like “gay” and “gay pride” are entered.
A Google representative had no comment, saying the company wants the Doodle to speak for itself.