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



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Allen
05-09-2011, 02:24 PM
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.

:respec: You managed to make the point I was trying to make, but much more eloquently. I should have waited until I wasn't :mad: to respond.

No one batted an eye when John Galliano was removed from his post at Christian Dior for making anti-semitic remarks. I'm not sure why I'm just supposed to accept someone campaigning against my right to marry as a difference in opinion. In fact, I believe the gay community has rolled over too much where this issue is concerned. Booker T. Washington suggested in his Atlanta Exposition speech that blacks should be "useful to their white brethren" as a way of gaining acceptance in equality. We see how far that idea got anyone.

If you are looking strictly at the job Vidmar would perform, you could argue that his views would not affect his performance. However, IMO, as others have stated his job also includes advocating for athletes. His actions have obviously created an uncomfortable distance between him and some of the athletes (both gay and straight). As we know, it's not always 100 percent about your job performance. At the end of the day, we all have to be accountable for our words and actions. I'm glad Vidmar stepped down. If he has to deal with negativity, so be it. He may not get to be Chief de Mission, but again, he's never going to find himself in a position where his marriage isn't legal or he can't provide health insurance for his spouse based on their sexual orientation.

julieann
05-09-2011, 04:39 PM
If gay marriage advocates insist on tarring everyone who opposes their cause as evil and to be drummed out of any public role in society, they are much more likely to harden hearts against them than to find new converts.

Part of growing up includes recognition that not everyone who disagrees with you on some issue of importance to you is evil and must be banned from any public role or punished for their views. I hope Johnny grows up one day, though that may be a lost cause.

I foresee that role never getting filled. They will never be able find one person who can be for every athlete. Some one will always be offended. We're like people that way.

Let say Johnny does it, I'm sure the athletes who belongs to PETA won't be very happy about his appointment.

MacMadame
05-09-2011, 05:05 PM
And for everyone who's arguing that the Olympics have always represented equality and tolerance, and that has to be maintained - the Olympics "represented" those ideals when Jewish athletes were kept off Olympic teams, when the Olympics were held in Nazi Germany, when women weren't allowed to run races of more than 800 meters because their reproductive organs would be damaged, when a man with ties to Spanish fascism headed the IOC, when women were not being allowed to participate in the ski jumping event in 2010, etc. etc. etc. Not that such a nasty history shouldn't be reversed, but the Olympics is maybe not the best example of an organization that is an ideal of non-discrimination.
So I guess, since they have fallen down on the job in the past, they should never be held accountable and it's impossible to demand that they follow their own standards. :rolleyes:



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.
So how are they going to come? From sitting around and doing nothing? Do you really think people like Peter Vidmar are just going to walk up one day and decide they are wrong?

taf2002
05-09-2011, 05:11 PM
Both of Hershs' articles make uncomfortable reading for me due to their 'witchhunt' elements. Hersh got the result of Peter Vidmar resigning from the job of chef de mission of the 2012 US Olympic Team to write about. He was helped a great deal by the input of Johnny Weir.

It would still make uncomfortable reading if Peter Vidmar was a public supporter of same sex marriage, and had to step down due to the controversy of that support.

While Johnny Weir will be proud of his input into the situation, and the gay community will be toasting and congratulating him, I can't help wondering whether Peter Vidmar, who was a 'disgraceful' appointment, may well have done an excellent job as chef de mission. We will never know. He and his family must have been initially proud of his appointment, just as Johnny Weir and his family would have been proud of him being chosen to represent the USA at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

Philip Hersh has now moved on to writing about playoffs and the Kentucky Derby. It appears that neither he nor Johnny Weir have any feelings of responsibility for the manner in which Peter Vidmar resigned.

I would like to say that I have always supported the gay community, but the fascist manner (i.e. opposition is not allowed) worries me in this case.

'Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones'. Chaucer 1385. Troilus & Criseyde.

I have a problem with people who don't "live & let live". If Peter had the private or religious belief that same sex marriage was wrong, I would have no problem with him being associated with the Oly movement. His thoughts are his own. But he actively campaigned against someone else's civil rights. He married as he wanted to but he denied others from doing the same. To me, that convinces me that he can't be unbiased.

I really can't understand people who lobby to censor adults from doing what they want in the privacy of their own homes. As long as it's not hurting someone else, then they need to MYOB.

BTW, I am a woman married to a man. But worrying about who someone else is married to makes about as much sense to me as Coke drinkers worrying about Pepsi drinkers.

Sparks
05-09-2011, 05:34 PM
Thank you, Allen, Theatergirl, and BittyBug.

Margaret
05-09-2011, 05:43 PM
As somebody stated before, people must really live in a figure skating bubble if they think this is about Johnny Weir or that he alone has that much power in this matter.
He was asked because he is one of the few (which is telling in itself) openly gay Olympic athletes.

gkelly
05-09-2011, 05:44 PM
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)


"The Olympics is to be inclusive of everyone, regardless of race, gender or sexuality."

But it's not inclusive of everyone regardless of athletic ability.

overedge
05-09-2011, 05:48 PM
So I guess, since they have fallen down on the job in the past, they should never be held accountable and it's impossible to demand that they follow their own standards. :rolleyes:

What part of "not that such a nasty history shouldn't be reversed" are you missing?

My point is that the Olympics has never been a shining example of equality and non-discrimination, and presenting it as such is a falsehood. There are many other reasons why Vidmar might not be the best candidate for the chef de mission job, but preserving the history of fair treatment for all at the Olympics is not one of them. Because there is no such history.

BittyBug
05-09-2011, 05:51 PM
But it's not inclusive of everyone regardless of athletic ability.I'm not quite sure what you're trying to say by pointing that out, but that quote is pretty much a rephrasing of #5 of the Olympic charter, which Coco listed earlier in this thread (http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/showpost.php?p=3175626&postcount=23).

skatesindreams
05-09-2011, 05:54 PM
Thank you, Allen, Theatergirl, and BittyBug.

Thanks from me, as well.

mike1709
05-09-2011, 06:03 PM
Sorry if my initial comments sounded harsh, and may have offended someone. My apologies.

Would like to add that I think Johnny Weir was right in this instance to offer a sincere and valid viewpoint when asked, and I respect that viewpoint.

AJ Skatefan
05-09-2011, 07:21 PM
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.

Rock on, Allen!!!!

AJ Skatefan
05-09-2011, 07:30 PM
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.


Rock on, Theratergirl!

AJ Skatefan
05-09-2011, 07:30 PM
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?

Rock on, BittyBug!

Rottie
05-09-2011, 07:54 PM
But again, the issue isn't his personal feelings. The issue is his very public campaign against civil rights for gay people.

This!