New York’s pension fund and investors across the country have sent letters to 10 major corporate sponsors of the upcoming Winter Olympic Games asking them to press Russia to respect the rights of gay athletes and citizens.
It’s the latest pressure from Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli to use the $160.7 billion pension fund for stronger corporate governance. All together, the investors who signed onto the letter have $327 billion of assets. It includes New York City Comptroller John Liu and 19 investment firms, who criticize the Russian government for restricting the rights of gay people.lic.
“The Russian government’s discriminatory laws have cast a shadow over the Olympics,” DiNapoli said in a statement. “We call upon these corporate sponsors to stand up for the respect and equality enshrined in the Olympic movement, advocate for human rights and confront abuses. Taking a stand against these prejudicial laws and policies is not just the right thing to do, it protects shareholder interests and corporate reputations.”
The letters were sent to AtoS, Coca-Cola, Dow Chemical, General Electric, Omega (Swatch), McDonalds, Panasonic, Proctor & Gamble, Samsung and Visa.
“Corporate sponsors of the Sochi Olympics have an opportunity to build their brands and their value, but they also have a responsibility to uphold the Olympics’ inclusive spirit,” Liu said in a statement.
Here’s the letter: