If one Russian lawmaker has his way, any and all apparel that suggests or promotes homosexuality will be made illegal.
“This is another move to impose upon our people perverted values,” said Vitaly Milonov in Russian newspaper Izvestia. Milonov is the conservative Russian member of Parliament behind the country’s gay propaganda law that passed in 2013.
The Nike collection “could have a corrupting influence on minors,” which contributes to the promotion of homosexuality, banned by Russian law, adds Milanov. “If its liberal values are more important for Nike than the cultural traditions of the people of Russia, then our country will not mind seeing the departure of the company from the market. The company must change its trade policies or carry statutory penalties for the illegality of their actions.”
Currently, the apparel is not available in Russian retailers and is sold through Nike’s U.S. site.
While Nike North America did not respond to Mashable’s request, the company reportedly told Izvestia:
“The Nike company adheres to the principle of equality and does not discriminate on the basis of orientation, gender, nationality or age. Nike supports social and cultural diversity and strives to provide inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. In Russia, Nike does not require its partners to carry a specific range of products and collections. Guided by this strategy, brand dealers are able to decide which products they will sell in their stores in Russia.”