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Thread: Patrick Chan article

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    Ashley Wagner made similar comments about how "I have gay family members and a lot of friends in the LGBT community”. I think he's acknowledging that there are many gays in figure skating, and pointing out many of his friends are gay. I think the "it doesn't bother me" comment is in the context of how gays are stigmatized and how gays at the Olympics is a hot topic. It's like if somebody said "I'm fine with gay athletes being proud of who they are" and people taking that as "Well, thanks so much for being okay with gays being comfortable with themselves". I think it might have been better if he added "it doesn't bother me, nor should it", but that's scrutinizing somebody who simply means well. Semantics aside, he's genuinely showing support, and not many athletes have done that. If you happen to not like Chan, that's fine. But if every athlete said something like Wagner and Chan and Bode Miller have said, that's how we slowly bring intolerance to its knees come Sochi.
    Agreed. Patrick doesn't know that some word combinations are less felicitous than others, but his heart is in the right place. Amazing that there's such a difference between "Some of my best friends are gay" and "I have many gay friends," but there it is. Regardless, I think the fact that some of his best friends are gay is the sign of huge progress in the world. That he was willing to wade in and make a statement at all is heartening.

  2. #17
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    Yup. Usually it's when somebody is defending racist or homophobic remarks that they say the cliche "I can't be racist/homophobic because my best friend is black/gay." But in this context he's saying simply that he skates with a lot of gay skaters, and they should have the right to compete and not worry just like any other athlete.

  3. #18
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    The difference between what Ashley Wagner said and what Patrick Chan said is that Ashley spoke disapprovingly of anti-gay laws in Russia. Chan did not. No one is threatening to ban gay athletes from competing in Sochi, so Patrick's remarks are kind of irrelevant to the real issue. Here are Patrick's views on the bigger question.

    http://www.thestar.com/sports/skatin..._in_sochi.html

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by WeakAnkles View Post
    As a gay man this attitude just, well I'll be polite and say gets my dander up:

    "I always believed, it doesn’t matter what colour, what race, what gender, or what’s your opinion on gays, it doesn’t matter as long as you have the talent and you work hard and you have something to show and something to prove. Anyone deserves to be on the field, and especially in the Olympic Games,” Chan said. “That’s my opinion. Figure skating, we’re full of gays, and I train with a lot of gay skaters, and some of them are my best friends, and honestly it doesn’t bother me. I just honestly believe everyone deserves to be on the ice to compete.”

    I know he means well, but really, "some of them" are his "best friends"? It doesn't "bother" him there are gay athletes in figure skating. Oh thank goodness, now I can sleep tonight. But let's substitute "Asian" for gay and you can see how condescending and annoying those remarks are.

    YMMV of course.
    "I always believed, it doesn’t matter what colour, what race, what gender, or what’s your opinion on Asians, it doesn’t matter as long as you have the talent and you work hard and you have something to show and something to prove. Anyone deserves to be on the field, and especially in the Olympic Games,” Chan said. “That’s my opinion. Figure skating, we’re full of Asians, and I train with a lot of Asian skaters, and some of them are my best friends, and honestly it doesn’t bother me. I just honestly believe everyone deserves to be on the ice to compete.”

    I'm sure it doesn't bother Asians. It is the talent and the hardworking that have made the rest of the world see Asians differently from over 100 years ago. Now Asians are on the risen not because they run around protesting and fighting everywhere for the rights but because they are willing to sacrifice the leisure time and work so hard. They earned places by their talent and hardworking.

  5. #20
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    ^ The problem is, why would anyone think that his friend's Asian-ness might conceivably "bother" someone? The very fact that the question is raised at all indicates a perception that there is something not quite Kosher about being Asian.

    As for Patrick, he's a credit to his race -- not that there's anything wrong with it.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    ^ The problem is, why would anyone think that his friend's Asian-ness might conceivably "bother" someone? The very fact that the question is raised at all indicates a perception that there is something not quite Kosher about being Asian.

    As for Patrick, he's a credit to his race -- not that there's anything wrong with it.
    Face it, Math. There are a lot of western people thinking Asians are "something not quite Kosher". Typically, there is a poster on GS, who is still posting, has posted numerous times about "disgusting nature" of Chinese and Korean culture.

    Patrick was just so untactfully laid out the fact.

  7. #22
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    There are many ways to support a cause or a subset of people. Loudly and openly demanding rights is just one of them. For most people, including those within the group fighting for rights, probably the best is to live a life that shows they are no different from the majority other than the one difference being focused on, be it race or sexual orientation, or better yet to excel and succeed better than the general population or to support such rights and opportunities as Patrick does. In doing so, more and more people will realize and eventually acknowledge the equality. In Patrick's case, he is choosing to focus on the competition but his statement that some of the gay skaters are his best friends (not some of his best friends are gay) is for the general readers because most skating fans already know he has always been close with some fellow skaters who are gay and gay skaters are among those he has declared as his inspiration whom he looks up to the most. He chooses to support them by treating them with respect in his whole life instead of voicing strongly on one issue during a period of time he wants and needs to focus on a major goal of his life.

    The are many causes each person can choose to support and each person should have the right to support each cause in ways that s/he sees fit.

  8. #23
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    ^ All quite true. It's just that...doggone it, Patrick should be better at these interviews after all these years of practice. We once praised his "refreshing boyish candor." But he's not a boy any more.

    Oh well.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    ^ All quite true. It's just that...doggone it, Patrick should be better at these interviews after all these years of practice. We once praised his "refreshing boyish candor." But he's not a boy any more.

    Oh well.
    Just because some people use "some of my best friends are ......" as preemptive defense for their real opinions does not mean others cannot state it sincerely as a fact. There is no "but" to this statement from Patrick. I don't expect or demand people to be so slick or able to be pleasing all the people.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    Ashley Wagner made similar comments about how "I have gay family members and a lot of friends in the LGBT community”. I think he's acknowledging that there are many gays in figure skating, and pointing out many of his friends are gay. I think the "it doesn't bother me" comment is in the context of how gays are stigmatized and how gays at the Olympics is a hot topic. It's like if somebody said "I'm fine with gay athletes being proud of who they are" and people taking that as "Well, thanks so much for being okay with gays being comfortable with themselves". I think it might have been better if he added "it doesn't bother me, nor should it", but that's scrutinizing somebody who simply means well. Semantics aside, he's genuinely showing support, and not many athletes have done that. If you happen to not like Chan, that's fine. But if every athlete said something like Wagner and Chan and Bode Miller have said, that's how we slowly bring intolerance to its knees come Sochi.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    .... doggone it, Patrick should be better at these interviews after all these years of practice. We once praised his "refreshing boyish candor." But he's not a boy any more.

    Oh well.
    Two points:

    (1) Criticism has rained down on three other skaters -- who, like Chan, have years and years of media experience -- for their comments on the Russian law. I'm referring to Jeremy Abbott and to the "Teflon couple" (99.9999% of the time) of Meryl Davis and Charlie White.
    I do believe that in this situation (as well as in other situations), Chan's heart is in the right place and that he intended no offense. Same goes for Abbott, Davis, and White, IMHO.

    (2) As a member of a minority, I think my natural instinct is to take extra care to follow the Golden Rule in terms of other minorities: to treat them with the same respect with which I wish to be treated.
    I think most members of minority groups have the same instinct, and I believe that Chan is one of them. I feel sure that his meaning was, "It doesn't bother me, nor should it."

    Quote Originally Posted by SkateFiguring View Post
    There are many ways to support a cause or a subset of people. Loudly and openly demanding rights is just one of them. For most people, including those within the group fighting for rights, probably the best is to live a life that shows they are no different from the majority other than the one difference being focused on, be it race or sexual orientation, or better yet to excel and succeed better than the general population or to support such rights and opportunities as Patrick does. In doing so, more and more people will realize and eventually acknowledge the equality. In Patrick's case, he is choosing to focus on the competition but his statement that some of the gay skaters are his best friends (not some of his best friends are gay) is for the general readers because most skating fans already know he has always been close with some fellow skaters who are gay and gay skaters are among those he has declared as his inspiration whom he looks up to the most. He chooses to support them by treating them with respect in his whole life instead of voicing strongly on one issue during a period of time he wants and needs to focus on a major goal of his life.

    The are many causes each person can choose to support and each person should have the right to support each cause in ways that s/he sees fit.
    Many thx for your thoughtful and eloquent post, SkateFiguring.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    ^ All quite true. It's just that...doggone it, Patrick should be better at these interviews after all these years of practice. We once praised his "refreshing boyish candor." But he's not a boy any more.

    Oh well.
    Patrick may never be a good journalist or a politician. So what? He is loved by many just the way he is.

    Just because he is not on the bandwagon of some people's, like Davis&White, he does not deserve this microscopic level nitpicking. Every skater has the right to choose what they support or not. They have the right to focus on things that are the most important to themselves.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkateFiguring View Post
    Just because some people use "some of my best friends are ......" as preemptive defense for their real opinions does not mean others cannot state it sincerely as a fact. There is no "but" to this statement from Patrick. I don't expect or demand people to be so slick or able to be pleasing all the people.
    Hear,hear!

    Patrick is a skater by trade and not a spokesperson. I prefer that his statements are open and honest (sometimes ends up with egg on his face )rather than some of the orchestrated statements that come out of very politically correct skaters.

  13. #28
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    (2) As a member of a minority, I think my natural instinct is to take extra care to follow the Golden Rule in terms of other minorities: to treat them with the same respect with which I wish to be treated.
    I think most members of minority groups have the same instinct, and I believe that Chan is one of them. I feel sure that his meaning was, "It doesn't bother me, nor should it."
    I too am a member of a minority and like to follow the same rule...
    Another voice of reason.

  14. #29
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    No one is implying that Patrick is a secret homophobe or an insensitive person.

    It's just that, to me, it is a little bit retro to keep raising the questions of whether gay athletes should be allowed to compete alongside straight athletes, whether athletes of different races should be allowed equal access to competitive sports, and whether or not we should be bothered by the sexual orientation of our friends. That fight is over. The good guys won.

    By the same token I was slightly disappointed with the recently ballyhooed decision of the USOC to add sexual orientation to the list of things that we shouldn't discriminate against. What is this, the 1990s?

    Anyway, I will just enjoy Patrick's skating. If he repeats the magic of his 2008 version of Four Seasons, he's got my vote.
    Last edited by Mathman; 10-18-2013 at 01:54 PM.

  15. #30
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    I am a member of a minority too. I also understand and take extra care for the minority group's needs. However, I do not sacrifice moral standard for anything.

    I think Patrick's statement is inline with the Olympic Charter which is all about sports and sport competitions. All "no discriminations" are about just that. To forcefully inject politics into the Olympics is a selfish act.

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