PDA

View Full Version : Johnny Weir v. former Olympic Gymnast, Peter Vidmar



Pages : 1 2 [3] 4 5 6 7

LilJen
05-08-2011, 10:22 PM
What precisely does the "chef de mission" do?

That's what I want to know.

I guess they have to find someone who believes nothing at all, who is neither opposed to anything nor in favor of anything. :D

Proustable
05-08-2011, 10:39 PM
I don't think it's a ridiculous argument at all. The inference that's being made here is that Vidmar's views on gay marriage would make him unsuitable to carry out the job of chef de mission. At least two people quoted in Hersh's articles say that despite his views on gay marriage he has always treated gay people fairly. If Vidmar was out campaigning for gay athletes to be banned from the Olympics, I would agree that he shouldn't be the chef de mission. But no one seems to have come forward with examples of how Vidmar's views have affected his work in athletics.


I'll need to understand exactly what his job as chef de mission is before articulating my disdain for the choice, but essentially, if he goes in as an athlete representative, I think that believing certain athletes are lesser due to sexual orientation is enough reason for me not to want him in that position.


Has Peter Vidmar EVER said that he hates gay people? EVER?

There is a huge, huge gap between people who are opposed to gay marriage and people who hate gays. I don't think that 45% of the US adult population hates gays, but that is about the percentage that currently opposes gay marriage.

The sooner people quite trying to demonize those who they disagree with, the better.

Nobody has come up with one scintilla of evidence suggesting that Peter Vidmar has ever discriminated against gay athletes. His personal views -- on gay marriage, use of birth control, political parties, or global warming should have nothing to do with it.

And frankly, someone who has exhibited the kind of bad sportsmanship and trash talking Weir has demonstrated is the very last person who should be throwing stones at someone else.

No, there really isn't.

Coco
05-08-2011, 10:54 PM
That's what I want to know.

I guess they have to find someone who believes nothing at all, who is neither opposed to anything nor in favor of anything. :D

There's having an opinion, and then there's actively working to deny someone a civil right or an opportunity based on the way god made them.

It's really disingenuous when people claim they can't see that distinction.

overedge
05-09-2011, 01:52 AM
This is from the Bermuda Olympic Association (BOA) website, describing what a chef de mission does. I assume the duties would be pretty much the same for that job representing any country.


The Chef-de-Mission is the Games delegation and operational leader and should possess strong management, communication and leadership qualities. The Chef-de-Mission should be able to delegate responsibilities and solve problems in a calm way, quickly, decisively, and in a re-assuring way, in particular giving due consideration of the mental, physical and social needs of the Bermuda Team, and the established rules and regulations relating to the conduct of the Games.

Responsibilities include the following:

Fulfilling the role of Delegation Leader and the Bermuda Olympic Association’s (BOA’s) representative in the Village.
Attends the Chef-de-Mission seminar prior to the Games (usually in the year prior to the games).
Ensures that the needs of all Bermuda athletes and officials are met.
Collates Games information and ensures appropriate distribution (e.g. to NSGBs, Medical Personnel, athletes, Media).
Liaises with the Games Organising Committee to solve NOC problems
Attends pre-Delegation Registration Meeting and (final) Delegation Registration Meeting (DRM).
In conjunction with Sport Team Leaders, defines and implements the Games operational plan to achieve the BOA’s Games objectives.
Ensures the supervision of clothing, equipment, finance, transport, accreditation, and accommodation issues.
Liaises with Media regarding sports preparations, administration and athlete results.
Ensures arrivals/departures of delegation are completed efficiently and trouble free.
Supervises the administration of Village guest passes.
Investigates Village problems and issues concerning the team.
Manages BOA finances in an efficient and prudent manner.
Ensures a proper sense of organization, dignity and pride in preparations for ceremonies such as the Village Flag Raising, Games Opening and Closing, and any other official Ceremony of the Games.
In conjunction with Sport Team Managers, ensures that all athletes and officials recognize the importance of team spirit, decorum, and deportment in their representation of Bermuda, whilst wearing the Bermuda uniform traveling to the Games, during the Games, and returning after the Games.
Makes a determination on matters of discipline, and reports all such matters to the BOA representatives at the Games.
Oversees team administration and logistical support in the Village.
Attends all Chefs-de-Mission meetings at the Games.
Holds meetings with Team Managers on Games issues as required.
After approval from the President, appoints the Flag Bearer for the Opening Ceremony, and the Flag Bearer for the Closing Ceremony.
As a result of limitations, appoints officials who will march in the Opening Ceremony.
Assumes such other responsibilities as are required, to ensure the orderly conduct of the delegation in their ability to conduct their respective duties and responsibilities in a positive atmosphere, always striving for conditions that provide for an optimum representation by the athletes.
Receives post Games reports from Sport Team Managers at conclusion of the Games.
Reviews Team Managers’ Games reports and includes comments as appropriate, in the Chef’s Games Report to BOA, to be completed within six (6) weeks of the conclusion of the Games.


I believe it's also the chef de mission's role to advocate for the athletes if there is an issue over officiating, e.g. Sally Rehorick, who was the Canadian chef de mission in Salt Lake City, was quite involved in addressing the controversy over the pairs results.

Allen
05-09-2011, 02:07 AM
I'm sure Peter has gay friends too.

Vidmar has every right to have that opinion. However, when he chose to take it public by openly demonstrating and donating money to Proposition 8, he moved beyond just having an opinion. At that point, he put a bias out into the public sphere. Being that he was taking on a public role, he needed to keep his personal beliefs to himself, IMO. If I was an athlete, I wouldn't want him representing me in any way.

And before anyone jumps on me, I would feel the same way if an openly gay Chief de Mission had anti-heterosexual views of some sort that spilled out into the public sphere.

I'm glad I read the rest of the thread because I was getting ready to email the USOC and call them tomorrow.

BittyBug
05-09-2011, 02:18 AM
Sorry, but that's not a real friend if he's out campaigning against gay marriage. I think that was manhn's point. ;)

Allen
05-09-2011, 02:38 AM
I think that was manhn's point. ;)

I wasn't sure of the inflection in that one. I edited it out.

BigB08822
05-09-2011, 06:38 AM
I don't see how his opinions on gay marriage or any political hot topic have anything to do with his role with the USOC. He is a human being and he will have opinions that people do not like. No matter who is chosen we could find someone who doesn't like something about that person. If he wasn't using his position to rally for political purposes then let him do what he wants in his free time. He is wrong, IMO, but he is allowed to be wrong. ;)

barbk
05-09-2011, 06:44 AM
Vidmar has every right to have that opinion. However, when he chose to take it public by openly demonstrating and donating money to Proposition 8, he moved beyond just having an opinion. At that point, he put a bias out into the public sphere. Being that he was taking on a public role, he needed to keep his personal beliefs to himself, IMO. If I was an athlete, I wouldn't want him representing me in any way.

And before anyone jumps on me, I would feel the same way if an openly gay Chief de Mission had anti-heterosexual views of some sort that spilled out into the public sphere.

I'm glad I read the rest of the thread because I was getting ready to email the USOC and call them tomorrow.

Are you really suggesting that anyone who has ever expressed any view in the public sphere should be disqualified from this type of position if it offended somebody, somewhere? Maybe the fat acceptance folks will need to get all over the next candidate because he/she publicly advocates against obesity, and therefore is against rights for fat people. :)

Gay marriage advocates ought to understand that successful promotion of gay marriage rights isn't going to come through demonizing people like Peter Vidmar because of their religious beliefs.

This was shameful, and I'm sorry Phil Hersh participated in this. I'm not at all surprised Johnny's on the warpath, though, since he seems to continually operate under the delusion that all his travails in figure skating were because he is gay rather than looking in a mirror and seeing his own deficiencies.

CantALoop
05-09-2011, 07:27 AM
I have mixed feelings on this too - especially out of concern that this could fuel a "oh no we're being persecuted for our faith" response that happened when people protested outside LDS churches after Prop 8.

Allen
05-09-2011, 08:05 AM
Are you really suggesting that anyone who has ever expressed any view in the public sphere should be disqualified from this type of position if it offended somebody, somewhere?

Gay marriage advocates ought to understand that successful promotion of gay marriage rights isn't going to come through demonizing people like Peter Vidmar because of their religious beliefs.

This was shameful, and I'm sorry Phil Hersh participated in this.

Yes, that's exactly what I'm suggesting :rolleyes: Trying to turn my statement about a very specific situation into a generalization is really trite. I'm really over people jumping to defend those opposed to marriage equality because "they are just stating their opinion." You realize that the people who are offended by such statements are in many cases those that cannot get married because of the work and financial support of people like Vidmar, right? At the end of the day, I don't care if Vidmar was just expressing his religious freedom, because guess what, he's never not going to be able to marry the person he loves.

In this case, the "somebody, somewhere" is thousands of people across this nation and likely many of the athletes Vidmar would represent. Let's get something straight here, Vidmar didn't just express a view, he participated in protests and gave money to fund Proposition 8. He openly supported legislation that would keep people from being able to marry the person they love. From your post, I don't get the sense that you will ever have to go out of the state you live in to get married, had to cross a picket line to get a marriage licence, or watch your loved suffer from an illness because they can't work and your insurance doesn't cover a same sex marriage. If you ever did have to go through these things, and I would hope that you did not, you might not find Vidmar to be demonized.

So, it's shameful for Weir and Hersh to express their opinions on the situation, but Vidmar can say any negative thing he wants about gay marriage...and no one should question it? That's not hypocritical at all. :rolleyes:

Bottom line for me is that he is supporting discrimination. A person who is publicly supporting discrimination should not be in charge of anything having to do with the Olympics.

Theatregirl1122
05-09-2011, 08:46 AM
Are you really suggesting that anyone who has ever expressed any view in the public sphere should be disqualified from this type of position if it offended somebody, somewhere? Maybe the fat acceptance folks will need to get all over the next candidate because he/she publicly advocates against obesity, and therefore is against rights for fat people. :)


You really are working to become master of the false metaphor in this thread, aren't you? If someone were publicly advocating that fat people not be allowed to marry or adopt children or whatever, you'd can be damn sure that those of us who believe in civil rights and equality would not think that they would be suitable for this position considering there might be a fat person on the Olympic team. Advocating against obesity as a health issue is not the same against advocating overweight people. And I'd be a bit worried if you couldn't tell the difference.

And I don't think there is a "huge, huge gap" between people who oppose gay marriage and people who hate gays. Since opposition to gay marriage is based only on homophobia and not on any secular argument with any scientific backing, I can't see how people who oppose gay marriage can do so for any other reason than the fact that they hate gay people.

But again, the issue isn't his personal feelings. The issue is his very public campaign against civil rights for gay people. No, I don't think that, if I were a gay athlete on the 2012 Olympic team, I would want anyone actively campaigning against my civil rights to be put in a position of being an advocate for me as an athlete. That seems like a conflict of interest.

Not all political positions are the same, so implying that the person who takes this position must have no opinions is, frankly, ridiculous. I don't think someone's opinion on tax cuts or legalization of marijuana has anything to do with it. But actively campaigning against the civil rights of some of the athletes he would be representing? Yeah, I think that's kind of a big deal.

And I don't think that the "gay lobby" should be afraid to offend people by making them think they have "too much power". That is a laughable argument meant only to keep people in their place by telling them not to shout too loudly. I am going to go ahead and feel free to demonize people for bigoted, hateful actions. I feel no need to hold back on criticizing people who loudly proclaim their belief that a certain portion of the population is not human enough to deserve civil rights. I think that the less acceptable it becomes to hold these hateful, bigoted opinions, the better off we will be. The more shameful it becomes to be racist/homophobic/sexist/etc, the better off we are. The less we consider hatred and bigotry as simple "differences of opinion" and the more we consider them to be absolutely disgusting, the more we move to an actual equal society.

Campaigning against someone else's civil rights is NOT a "difference of opinion". It is an act of hatred. And someone who actively seeks to deny civil rights to some of the athletes on our team should not be a representative for those athletes. This seems pretty simple to me.

allezfred
05-09-2011, 09:55 AM
Bottom line for me is that he is supporting discrimination. A person who is publicly supporting discrimination should not be in charge of anything having to do with the Olympics.

:respec:

If Vidmar had said he doesn't believe in inter-racial marriage and had been involved in campaigning against it, it wouldn't even be a question about whether he should resign or not and rightly so.

BittyBug
05-09-2011, 01:20 PM
I'm not at all surprised Johnny's on the warpath, though, since he seems to continually operate under the delusion that all his travails in figure skating were because he is gay rather than looking in a mirror and seeing his own deficiencies.So Phil calls Johnny for a comment, he gives one, and now he's "on the warpath"? When he's contacted by InStyle to be asked about high-rise vs. low rise pants is he also "on the warpath," and if so, is it because he thinks a particular waistband has caused him all his ills? :rolleyes:

And what about Jessica Mendoza (http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/sports_globetrotting/2011/05/olympic-champions-naber-mendoza-disagree-womens-sports-foundation.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter) - is she on the warpath too? And if so, what do you think is driving her behavior, especially since she's straight?


Mendoza, a two-time Olympian and past president of the Women's Sports Foundation, said she was ``very disappointed'' the USOC intended to keep Vidmar in the role after learning of his public opposition to same-sex marriage.
....
``However, given his stance with Proposition 8, (especially) with my having many teammates that are openly gay and knowing there will be a number of athletes that are gay in the Olympics next year, I am very disappointed the USOC is moving forward with this decision. The Olympics is to be inclusive of everyone, regardless of race, gender or sexuality.''

attyfan
05-09-2011, 01:24 PM
...

But again, the issue isn't his personal feelings. The issue is his very public campaign against civil rights for gay people. No, I don't think that, if I were a gay athlete on the 2012 Olympic team, I would want anyone actively campaigning against my civil rights to be put in a position of being an advocate for me as an athlete. That seems like a conflict of interest.

Not all political positions are the same, so implying that the person who takes this position must have no opinions is, frankly, ridiculous. I don't think someone's opinion on tax cuts or legalization of marijuana has anything to do with it. But actively campaigning against the civil rights of some of the athletes he would be representing? Yeah, I think that's kind of a big deal.
...
... And someone who actively seeks to deny civil rights to some of the athletes on our team should not be a representative for those athletes. This seems pretty simple to me.

ITA with the bulk of this. I don't think the issue should be just that he donated money or publicly campaigned against gay marriage rights, but instead it is whether someone who did these things can perform the job, which (apparently) includes acting as an advocate for the athletes. It isn't just gay athletes, either. For example, I think many straight women athletes might be concerned that someone with his "traditional" views would not approve of the straight female athletes pursuing careers rather than domesticity.

It is like a case that I read about where someone was fired after stating his religiously-based opposition to gay marriage in his workplace ... which happened to be his city's office for handling complaints of workplace discrimination (including sexual orientation). He sued, claiming that he was discriminated against because of his religion, but he lost. That his attitude was based on his religious beliefs didn't alter the fact that his attitude would interfere with his doing his job ... a lot of complainants would not have confidence in his handling of their matters.

Vidmar's opposition to gay marriage does not necessarily interfere with his ability to do some jobs with the Oly movement (IMO), but I think it would interfere with his ability to serve as advocate for all athletes.