The Olympic charter prohibits participants from making any kind of political statement at the games. The IOC has warned that it will not tolerate athletes using the games to protest Russia's new law prohibiting distribution of pro-gay "propaganda" to minors. The Olympic rules say violation of this ban on political statements may result in disqualification or expulsion from the games.
Some people believe that athletes at the games are morally obligated to speak out against Russia's law. They compare the law to Nazi Germany's early anti-Jewish laws.
Others believe the possible sacrifice of the chance to compete at the Olympics is too much to demand of American athletes who have trained for years to reach the Olympics and that they are entitled to focus on their training and competition.