Johnny Weir v. former Olympic Gymnast, Peter Vidmar

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by olympic, May 7, 2011.

  1. LilJen

    LilJen Well-Known Member

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    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
     
  2. Proustable

    Proustable New Member

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    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.

    No, there really isn't.
     
  3. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
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  4. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    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.

    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.
     
  5. Allen

    Allen Glad to be back!

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    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.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2011
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  6. BittyBug

    BittyBug Kiteless

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    I think that was manhn's point. ;)
     
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  7. Allen

    Allen Glad to be back!

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    I wasn't sure of the inflection in that one. I edited it out.
     
  8. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    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. ;)
     
  9. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  10. CantALoop

    CantALoop Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  11. Allen

    Allen Glad to be back!

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    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.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2011
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  12. Theatregirl1122

    Theatregirl1122 Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
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  13. allezfred

    allezfred Old and Immature Admin Staff Member

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    :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.
     
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  14. BittyBug

    BittyBug Kiteless

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    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 - is she on the warpath too? And if so, what do you think is driving her behavior, especially since she's straight?

     
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  15. attyfan

    attyfan Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  16. Allen

    Allen Glad to be back!

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    :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.
     
  17. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  18. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

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    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:

    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?
     
  19. taf2002

    taf2002 flower lady

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    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.
     
  20. Sparks

    Sparks Well-Known Member

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    Thank you, Allen, Theatergirl, and BittyBug.
     
  21. Margaret

    Margaret New Member

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    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.
     
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  22. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  24. BittyBug

    BittyBug Kiteless

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    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.
     
  25. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    Thanks from me, as well.
     
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  26. mike1709

    mike1709 New Member

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    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.
     
  27. AJ Skatefan

    AJ Skatefan Well-Known Member

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    Rock on, Allen!!!!
     
  28. AJ Skatefan

    AJ Skatefan Well-Known Member

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    Rock on, Theratergirl!
     
  29. AJ Skatefan

    AJ Skatefan Well-Known Member

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    Rock on, BittyBug!
     
  30. Rottie

    Rottie Well-Known Member

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    This!