Formula One brass Bernie Ecclestone has professed his support to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, stating that he “completely agrees” with the recent anti-gay propaganda bills passed. Allying himself with the Putin, who’s organizational methods for the Sochi Winter Olympics has been garnering quite a controversial streak, is an ill-advised move by critics. Maintaining that Putin’s law forbidding the advertisement of non-traditional marriage has been misinterpreted and blown out of proportion by the media, the 83-year-old Ecclestone has stated that not only does he support the Russian Prime Minister’s actions, but he believes that 90 percent of the world does as well.
Impressed by Russia’s preparation of their new circuits, which will be hosting this year’s sixteenth round of championship races shortly after the conclusion of the Sochi Winter Games, Ecclestone has stated a “great admiration for [Putin] and his courage to say what he says,” and though it may upset some people, he maintains that Putin’s law is supported by most of the world, despite the fact that the outrage and disgust had been expressed by many people following the bill’s passing last year.
Putin and Ecclestone are brothers in controversy, with Putin having been accused of fraud and embezzlement regarding the Sochi Winter Games, and Ecclestone himself set to face a court case in April later this year involving corrupt payments. Although both men deny any allegations suggesting their fraudulent behaviour, their similar predicaments allow for an easy relationship, with began in early 2013, when Ecclestone met with Putin in order to observe the progress made on the construction of the new Sochi circuit, which will host Russia’s first Grand Prix in October later this year. As for Putin, there has been no shortage of resent towards the Russian Prime Minister and his new laws. This, coupled with the embarrassing lead-up to the Sochi Winter Olympic Games, Vladimir Putin has secured a position near the top of the world’s list of most frowned upon people, making Ecclestone’s decision to back the Prime Minister questionable.
Putin’s country pride has taken a beating in the past few days, with Russia’s loss to Finland in the Olympic hockey tournament ending the team’s push for hockey gold. Apart from Olympic pride, Putin’s country itself has fallen victim to media harassment because of the recent assault on six members of the punk rock band Pussy Riot by Cossacks following a protest stunt, displaying the group’s distaste of Russia’s anti-gay laws. Maintaining presidential posture is surely a difficult task for Putin, with the weight and strain of Russia’s recent Olympic shortcomings bearing down on his shoulders.
Although Putin stands amidst a dense wave of accusation and controversy, being backed by Bernie Ecclestone and his Formula One fortune is no doubt a consoling bit of information for the Russian Prime Minister. Olympic pressure and worldwide judgement is beyond enough to send an average man into a fit of tears, but Vladimir Putin stands strong, ready to face the world, standing strong for his beliefs. While his Anti-gay laws and alleged scandals have earned him a cold stare from many, his defiantly powerful resolve is nothing short of admirable.
By Christopher White