Athlete says wearing rainbow shoes in Qatar was not political

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American heptathlete Erica Bougard says the rainbow trainers she wore for the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Qatar did not carry any statement or message, she just liked the colorful print on them. She has always appeared there in these shoes. And she is a lesbian, by the way. “I honestly didn’t think about it because it was already on my shoe,” Bougard said. “I put the flag on my shoe and people noticed it, I guess.” Homosexuality is illegal in the conservative Muslim nation and punishable by up to seven years in prison. There is also a Sharia law according to which gay people can be put to death, but luckily it has never been practically implemented so far. “But I’m not afraid of the consequences,” Bougard told Time. “I feel like I’m well protected,” she said, adding that if anything does happen, “I’ll be on the first flight out.”

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