Russian customs officials have declared the Warwick Rowers calendar unsuitable say calendar makers.
Every year since 2009 the Rowers from the University of Warwick have sold a naked calendar to raise money for LGBT charities.
The calendar has attracted fans from across the globe.
But this year according to the caledar maker, Russian customs officials sent calendars destined for Russian shoppers back to the UK, while waves of malicious traffic from Russia temporarily downed the www.warwickrowers.org website selling the Rowers’ merchandise.
The calendar raises money for the charity Sport Allies, which aims to end homophobia in sport and make sport more inclusive for LGBT+ individuals. Their calendar raises a six-figure sum for charity every year.
Warwick Rowers founder and LGBT+ rights campaigner Angus Malcolm spoke out again the Russian rejection of the calendar.
He said: “My heart goes out to the Rowers’ Russian fans, who are increasingly subjected to acts of hatred and discrimination that shouldn’t be tolerated in any society anywhere across the globe.
“The fact Russian customs rejected our calendar is nothing compared to the suffering some LGBT+ people face every day, but it acts as a signifier of the wider problem.
“If they can’t cope with a few naked bums, then frankly that’s quite sad.”
“Putin is promoting precisely the kind of toxic masculinity that Sport Allies and the Warwick Rowers want to challenge.
“Homophobia is a core part of it, and we are now seeing LGBT soccer fans being advised to avoid displays of affection at next year’s World Cup.
“With the rise of Putin’s brand of populism around the world, we have never needed straight allies like the Warwick Rowers more than we do now.”
To buy the calendar click here.