Johnny wants it both ways....heretofore, he got appearance fees at Gay venues, while at the same time promoting his career through political silence and/or unabashed Russia adulation. I doubt many more appearance fees will be forthcoming from the gay community!
And if Weir wants to 'kiss up' to this one or that one in order to skate in shows so be it. That too is his right. He can live his life however he chooses to. It's no one else's business although they try to make it so because Johnny has something of celebrity.
I detest the Russian anti-gay laws, but I have a serious question to all who think that Johnny--or anyone else in a similar position as he--should protest the laws in some fashion in Sochi: how will it benefit the Russian LGBT movement if he says he will protest? The likely consequences are that he will not get a visa to go to Sochi. Should NBC nevertheless manage to get him a visa to go to Sochi, I dare say he would not be likely to get one later to skate in Plushenko's shows in Russia. How will this help the Russian LGBT community?
Johnny has said he finds the laws disgusting--but there are ways to support the Russian LGBT community without risking one's career. He said he has been in touch with people from Russian LGBT communities to find out how he can help. Frankly, I think there's a lot he can do by just being himself: a beloved gay skater, embraced by sports broadcasting as an expert at the Olympics or touring the country with a Russian skating legend who embraces him as a friend sends a strong message of acceptance and puts a positive face on the "western gay influence" that many Russians seem to fear. It will not give attention to the US LGBT communities or help the members feel good for having "done something", but it may be helpful for the RUSSIAN LGBT community in the long run.
By all means, do protest, if you think it helps, but do consider there may be other equally or more effective ways for others to help behind the scenes (I'm not saying I know Johnny IS doing something--I don't know if he is--but I'm saying there is no single right way to help). Just because someone says they don't think the Olympics are a place for protest does not mean they don't care or that they are not doing anything to help.
Finally, I agree with noskates: Johnny, like every other person, has a right to choose the battles he wishes to fight.
Let me make myself clear, I don't expect Johnny to protest in Sochi. However, at the same time, by blaming this issue on the Western media, he becomes a defacto tool of the Russian government and the IOC.
Wow Sjs, that's really a stretch!
I wish Johnny would have said something like, “I respect the views of those who hope to use the Olympic games to call attention to rights abuses in Russia, but as for me, I plan to focus on the athletic contests.”
By saying instead that the purity of the Olympic games should not be corrupted by – ugh – the real world, well, to me this is sort of pontificating, presenting one’s personal view as somehow morally superior to the views of others.
But then again, Johnny didn’t ask me for my opinion.
The comment he made during Cup of Russia was not about whether or not the law was right. He has made it eminently clear elsewhere that he finds the law offensive, noxious, and unjust. The comment he made was about whether or not there should be a boycott- and I and most of the other athletes agree with him that there should not. He was emphasizing the unlikelihood of anything happening to an athlete and the importance of respecting these athletes' life-long dreams and dedication. He gave one television interview on this subject in August, long before he got the commentating gig, and he was adamant and crystal clear in his scorn of the law and his empathy for LGBT community in Russia.
And yes, he and Victor do indeed have a foundation to help LGBT youth who are bullied or tormented for being gay.
As the sister of a gay man and the friend of innumerable gay and lesbian people, I find his stance both ethical and effective.
Bumping up this thread, due to this tweet by USFSA:
IMPORTANT: How to watch the 2014 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships >> http://usfigu.re/HowToView NBC Schedule: pic.twitter.com/eU2KtAzoBA
From the link content:
The 2014 U.S. Championships will have eight hours of live, high-definition coverage of senior-level events on NBC. NBC will also air the Smucker’s Skating Spectacular, from 4‒6 p.m. (ET) on Saturday, Jan. 18. NBC’s broadcast team will consist of Tom Hammond and Terry Gannon (play-by-play), Scott Hamilton (analyst), Sandra Bezic (analyst), Tracy Wilson (analyst) and Andrea Joyce (reporter)."
I would much rather listen to Johnny, Tara, and Tanith--they actually provide analysis and also help casual viewers understand the sport better. I think this is a really bad move from NBC ahead of the Olympics. Now is the time to build excitement--fresh perspective and enjoyable commentary would do that. Everyone I know absolutely hates Hamilton's grunting and screeching. Oh well, I'll just stick with IN then.
If they have Terry Gannon,what is Tom Hammond's role?
Yay for Terry Gannon!
He was the anchor host for the Speed Skating short track trials this weekend. Busy and talented guy!