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Jenny
06-29-2011, 05:12 PM
T What kids don't talk like that in the real world?

Of course reporters are looking for colourful quotes, and Johnny in his efforts to get attention chose controversial as well as colourful, pretty much guaranteeing headlines. But he's not some kid in the real world - he was an elite athlete representing his country in an official capacity, and his sport as well.

It's entirely possible to give a good interview and get coverage without saying things you know will piss people off.



The idea that skaters should be more circumspect because it's an Olympic sport is dopey. The Olympics is not a religious camp meeting. It's a sporting event. He wasn't referring to performance enhancing drugs. I would be willing to bet that none of the snowboarders would think twice about saying those things. lol

Recreational drugs are also prohibited, and particularly after what happened in Nagano, I really don't think a lot of snowboarders are going to "joke" about drugs.

Anyway, as we continue to argue this old issue, my original point is that I don't believe it was homophobia that put the USFSA at odds with Johnny - it was his choice to continually push everyone's buttons, all the while saying he was "just joking" or being outrageous or whatever.

Justathoughtabl
06-29-2011, 05:20 PM
I haven't been following skating all that long, but it seems to me that the USFSA takes image very seriously. They told Rachael Flatt to cut her hair, for example. Who cares about her hair? They've told Johnny to change his costume. What would they do if a skater had tattoos, a la Dennis Rodman? Or purple hair?

Evidence suggests that they like their skaters to be clean cut, meaning not different (or flamboyant) in any way. And certain voices (Elvis Stojko, for example) have called for men to be more masculine. Are those voices not also present among USFSA officials? And what is behind calls to be more masculine, if not homophobia? What's wrong with being feminine?

I know certain posters are going to jump on me for jumping to conclusions, but I'm just saying I can see where people got the idea that there's homophobia in the USFSA. After all, homophobia is still VERY common. VERY common. And it often includes a fear of men who aren't masculine enough.

Rex
06-29-2011, 05:24 PM
That I always thought though, that he refused to actually say the words during his competitive career from a fear of being judged unfairly.

I think everyone from skating officials to fans pretty much knew that he was gay even before winning the 04 Nats raised his profile. He's always been obviously gay. I seriously doubt anyone thought that he was anything else. For some reason, some people wanted him to come out and say it.

Jenny
06-29-2011, 05:32 PM
Evidence suggests that they like their skaters to be clean cut, meaning not different (or flamboyant) in any way. And certain voices (Elvis Stojko, for example) have called for men to be more masculine. Are those voices not also present among USFSA officials? And what is behind calls to be more masculine, if not homophobia? What's wrong with being feminine?

I think many in the skating establishment want to present skating as more athletic so it will be taken seriously as a sport, and that does not equate masculine, which in turn does not equate heterosexual.

I think we all agree that Johnny and the USFSA did not get along - but it's the reasons why that are in dispute. Johnny says it's because he's different and doesn't discourage the idea that it's because he's gay (or was thought to be gay) - but I think it's because he didn't play along with the rules or others, and continually said and did things knowing they'd cause friction, and my guess is in many cases, purposely made choices that would bring that result (ie wearing fur in competition, and a rival team jacket in Torino).

Justathoughtabl
06-29-2011, 06:15 PM
This is getting away from your originally point again, Jenny, but I don't think presenting FS as more athletic is working. People think of it as an artistic, flamboyant sport (or non-sport, even). I think the USFSA would be wise to promote the aspects of FS that make it unique. There are all these people in crazy costumes...there are different skating styles...there are different personalities. Why not market that? They really could have buddied up with Johnny AND Evan and highlighted/celebrated the differences in their styles and personalities to get people to tune in. If they encouraged the skaters to be themselves, it would be a much more interesting sport. And they could still emphasize the quad and all of that, but with a much more colorful backdrop. The reason I think of the USFSA as conservative is because they appear to want to make all the athletes the same, even if it is for the sake of promoting FS as a serious sport. And when an athlete deviates from that, it upsets them.

Jenny
06-29-2011, 06:21 PM
Don't get me started on federations and the ISU and the agents and promoters and their lack of vision in promoting and growing the sport. :lol:

overedge
06-29-2011, 11:24 PM
Oh, and as for the press having more important things to do than manufacturing discontent? That's what they do. They find stories, and if necessary, they highlight certain statements to make things seem bigger than they are. The Johnny/Evan feud, anyone? Beatles versus Stones? Paul McCartney is dead?

What you are describing is the TMZ/National Enquirer end of the spectrum, which are not sports media organizations. I can assure you that most sports reporters are too busy covering events, competitions, and activities to have time to sit around and concoct plots to stir up discontent between federations and athletes. And if they did, I can also assure you that they would be thinking about how to do this in the most high profile sports, like basketball and football. They would not bother with a sport that gets relatively little coverage and isn't that important to the average sports fan.

REO
06-29-2011, 11:35 PM
I think everyone from skating officials to fans pretty much knew that he was gay even before winning the 04 Nats raised his profile. He's always been obviously gay. I seriously doubt anyone thought that he was anything else. For some reason, some people wanted him to come out and say it.

100% agree, but I also think for some reason, some people wanted him to keep his trap shut about it. We all know keeping his trap shut is usually just not an option with Johnny. :D He's always been an open book which is why I think there was an agenda.

Justathoughtabl
06-29-2011, 11:42 PM
What you are describing is the TMZ/National Enquirer end of the spectrum, which are not sports media organizations. I can assure you that most sports reporters are too busy covering events, competitions, and activities to have time to sit around and concoct plots to stir up discontent between federations and athletes. And if they did, I can also assure you that they would be thinking about how to do this in the most high profile sports, like basketball and football. They would not bother with a sport that gets relatively little coverage and isn't that important to the average sports fan.

This is what I call making a mountain out of a molehill, or making a story out of an innocuous statement. They did not need to write an article about this one quote. And AP is not on the TMZ end of the spectrum:

Weir's Drug References Draw Criticism
http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/10840783/

And the follow-up, because there was apparently an uproar:
Won't Make Any Drug References, Weir Says
http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/10854648/

overedge
06-30-2011, 01:04 AM
Seriously. An athlete makes comments, even joking comments, about parallels between skaters' programs and different types of drugs, and you don't think that's worth a news story? That would have been written about if pretty much any athlete had done the same thing, not just poor picked-on Johnny. And if the AP had not called up the USFS for its opinion it would have gotten grief for not covering the story fairly. Sorry, but it's not the AP who is making mountains out of molehills here.

Justathoughtabl
06-30-2011, 03:04 AM
Seriously. An athlete makes comments, even joking comments, about parallels between skaters' programs and different types of drugs, and you don't think that's worth a news story?

No, I don't.

AndyWarhol
06-30-2011, 03:19 AM
There was a picture of JW in my local newspaper last night. The picture was of him and Brad Goreski (stylist) posing in little shorts and a cravat at the Trevor Project Hero Awards.

antmanb
06-30-2011, 11:12 AM
I haven't been following skating all that long, but it seems to me that the USFSA takes image very seriously. They told Rachael Flatt to cut her hair, for example.

Did they really :eek: I hadn't heard about that.


What kids don't talk like that in the real world?


I do understand that kids really do talk a lot like that, but if it was my 20 year old making the reference, it would make me ask the question if they actually had epxerience of the drug, and if the answer was no, then obviously it was done specifically to shock or for effect (or to be "cool"). I'm with Jenny on this one - it was pruposefully done for effect.

REO
06-30-2011, 07:57 PM
There was a picture of JW in my local newspaper last night. The picture was of him and Brad Goreski (stylist) posing in little shorts and a cravat at the Trevor Project Hero Awards.

LOL The first pic from that event I saw was of just him from the waist up and I thought, "How cute does he look tonight?!" and then I saw the shorts. Never let it be said that he's predictable.

REO
06-30-2011, 08:01 PM
antmab, I completely agree that he sometimes says stuff for shock or entertainment value. I just don't think this was in any shape or form an implied endorsement of doing dope. It was a colorful comparison of the diference between his and Ryan's programs meaning both were enjoyable but in different ways. To me the controversy was blown way out of proportion.