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  1. #341
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    I don't think it's about being buttoned up or family friendly. Figure skating is a sport in the Olympics, where any kind of drug use is taken very seriously. Figure skating also struggles to be taken seriously as a sport and not just entertainment, so has to work even harder to prove that its participants are serious, trained, disciplined and talented athletes. References to drugs may be acceptable in the entertainment world, but not in sports.

    If Johnny is so creative and expressive, surely he could have found other ways to describe programs, but IMO he did it for effect, to push the envelope, to tease people, and to test his boundaries with the USFSA and even the ISU/IOC.

  2. #342
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    I don't think it's about being buttoned up or family friendly. Figure skating is a sport in the Olympics, where any kind of drug use is taken very seriously. Figure skating also struggles to be taken seriously as a sport and not just entertainment, so has to work even harder to prove that its participants are serious, trained, disciplined and talented athletes. References to drugs may be acceptable in the entertainment world, but not in sports.

    If Johnny is so creative and expressive, surely he could have found other ways to describe programs, but IMO he did it for effect, to push the envelope, to tease people, and to test his boundaries with the USFSA and even the ISU/IOC.
    I think he did it because it was funny and he just couldn't help himself. He likes to have fun with people, that's all. Under most circumstances, a comment like that would be completely harmless. The press even laughed when he said it (realizing immediately that he meant it to be funny), but then realized the potential for a story there and started stirring the pot with the USFSA, which they knew would react because it IS quite conservative. The press loves a funny quote, but they love a good story more. And they turned one small joke into more than it was, and they continue to do that whenever they say that "Johnny Weir likes to make drug references," implying to the uninformed that Johnny Weir habitually makes references to taking drugs and therefore probably takes drugs.

  3. #343

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    Quote Originally Posted by Justathoughtabl View Post
    The press even laughed when he said it (realizing immediately that he meant it to be funny), but then realized the potential for a story there and started stirring the pot with the USFSA, which they knew would react because it IS quite conservative.
    You are making a lot of inferences about what the press thought and did in reaction to Johnny's statements.

    It's also possible that the media who were there when he made the statements were laughing in a "OMG I can't believe he said that" way, not because they thought what he said was funny.

    And if you call contacting the USFSA for reaction to Johnny's statements "stirring the pot", OK, but I would call it "doing their jobs". It's responsible reporting to get the other side of every story. I think most sports reporters have a lot more important things to do with their time than deliberately manufacturing discontent between skaters and the USFSA.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

  4. #344
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    That's the thing about the Federation. The reporters knew they could get a rise out of them by making a big deal out of Johnny's statements because they are so stodgy. Johnny is the only skater who doesn't mouth the usual drek about just trying his best and working hard. If your boss tells you to go write a story about skating, it gets hard to get more than a paragraph on someone who is too shy or uptight to talk except in practiced lines they learned in media training. Johnny has a big personality. He's fun and interesting and remember that he was like 20 years old at the time. What kids don't talk like that in the real world?
    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

  5. #345
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    I would say the press could have laughed because the statement was funny AND because they couldn't believe a skater in a very conservative federation would have the guts to say something like that. I'm guessing that they saw a story there and ran with it. You say it's their job to get two sides to a story; it's also their job to find the story, and they MADE a story out of something that really isn't a big deal in many more liberal circles. He didn't say he takes drugs. He didn't take drugs then lie about it. He compared two skating programs to the effects of drugs, in a very innocuous way. But by asking the federation what they thought, the press wanted (and I'm inferring here, yes) to get some good quotes and make a story out of it. Now Johnny Weir is forever linked to "drug references," whatever that means. On a much smaller scale, it reminds me of John Lennon's "bigger than Jesus" statement. The U.S. (and I'm American) is a very conservative country, still.

    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?

  6. #346
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    Quote Originally Posted by REO View Post
    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.

  7. #347
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    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.

  8. #348

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    Quote Originally Posted by REO View Post
    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.

  9. #349
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justathoughtabl View Post
    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).

  10. #350
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    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.

  11. #351
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    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.

  12. #352

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    Quote Originally Posted by Justathoughtabl View Post

    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.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

  13. #353
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex View Post
    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. He's always been an open book which is why I think there was an agenda.

  14. #354
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    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    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/

  15. #355

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    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.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

  16. #356
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    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    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.

  17. #357

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    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.

  18. #358

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    Quote Originally Posted by Justathoughtabl View Post
    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 I hadn't heard about that.

    Quote Originally Posted by REO View Post
    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.

  19. #359
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyWarhol View Post
    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.

  20. #360
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    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.

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