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  1. #61

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    Im liking Ashley more and more these days!

  2. #62
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    A big round of applause to Ashley Wagner for showing some courage and integrity!

    A very big round of boos to everybody else, especially Davis/White and their 'semantics' argument as well as 'Olympics are not the right place to make a political statement.' Unless that statement is 'USA! USA! USA!,' being photographed next to the US flag or singing the national anthem while standing on the podium. Those statements aren't political in the slightest.

    Also:

    My Post from 08/27

    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    Instead of comparing human rights to interior decor (), they could have said something like: 'Personally, I strongly believe in equal rights for everyone. However, as an athlete, I have been put in a very difficult position. I am going to be a guest in Russia and as such, I have to respect their laws. Ultimately, it's up to the Russian people - and not me - to decide how they want to run their own country.'
    Ashley Wagner's Response from the Chicago Tribune article:

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashley Wagner
    “I have gay family members and a lot of friends in the LGBT community,” Wagner said. “I have such a firm stance on this. I believe we should all have equal rights, and I also do not support the legislation in Russia.

    “At the same time, it is not my place to go into Russia and tell them how to run their country. I believe the best way for you to show your support for the (LGBT community) is to speak out about it.”
    I just had to.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by leafygreens View Post
    And you wonder why more skaters aren't speaking out? Because if they say one perceived "wrong" thing, they get lambasted. These are athletes, not politicians and not Miss America contestants. Leave them alone.

    Getting lambasted is a part of life.

  4. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterG View Post
    I think that's kind of harsh. All these skaters are just a matter of years out of their 20's (and Gold at 18 is still in her teens). Even the elder two (Lysacek and Abbott, both at 28) are less than a decade from their teens. How many people in their 20's were standing on a world stage championing human rights? It's great there is someone like Wagner who has the inner strength to stand up against injustice, but I don't think we should expect it from everyone. Especially when they are all still relatively young.
    Seriously? There are tons of young adults in their early 20's who do speak out against discrimination and bullying. They are the leaders of tomorrow and they should be encouraged to make a difference. As for Evan and Jeremy, they are not kids, they are adults, who are old enough to vote, be drafted and get elected to public office in certain places.

  5. #65

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    I absolutely applaud Wagner for her comments and think she expressed her view perfectly.

    Equally though I can't really get that excited about Zawadski's response. Don't we all pick and choose which causes we support and which ones we will put ourselves on the line for? If these anti gay laws are not things she particularly cares about - so what? There's plenty of things out there that I take issue with and do something about, and there's plenty of important things out there where i would equally not be interested in making a difference and keep my head down and do my job. It doesn't always have to be about making a difference.

  6. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by antmanb View Post
    I absolutely applaud Wagner for her comments and think she expressed her view perfectly.

    Equally though I can't really get that excited about Zawadski's response. Don't we all pick and choose which causes we support and which ones we will put ourselves on the line for? If these anti gay laws are not things she particularly cares about - so what? There's plenty of things out there that I take issue with and do something about, and there's plenty of important things out there where i would equally not be interested in making a difference and keep my head down and do my job. It doesn't always have to be about making a difference.
    Like I said earlier, I get that people pick and choose what they care about and not everyone wants to be an activist in any capacity. Even if one were to agree with the laws, then they have a right to do so (not saying she's one of those people at all). However, because my own personal views, background, the type of work that I do, I can't help but seriously dislike Agnes's comment. It's based off of my own biases and perspective on life.

    All that said, I don't think anyone expects skaters to be actively crusading on behalf of gay rights. However, there's a difference between asking someone to actively work for a cause or "make a difference" and expecting people to not say something that really minimizes this issue.
    "Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." - Ambrose Bierce

  7. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa View Post
    All that said, I don't think anyone expects skaters to be actively crusading on behalf of gay rights. However, there's a difference between asking someone to actively work for a cause or "make a difference" and expecting people to not say something that really minimizes this issue.
    All she said was that she's not there to make a difference. I really don't take issue with that, and I don't think it minimises the issue but like you said, we all come at these things with our own biases :shrug:

  8. #68
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    I guess maybe I've just been focused on the U.S. skaters but I haven't seen what skaters from other countries are saying about the laws and the Olympics. Have I missed the posts on this?
    Congratulations 2014 World Ice Dance Champions Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte!!!

  9. #69

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    “I don’t think we can speak because we haven’t really talked about [it] between the two of us very much,’’ [Charlie] White said.
    Erm... wow.

    Like BlueRidge, I'd also be interested to hear what skaters from other countries are saying.

  10. #70
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    I haven't really seen anyone from another country be questioned about the law and I guess no one has decided to take the initiative to issue a statement on their own. I think it might be that the USFS is the only federation that seems to be organizing those big press conferences to promote the Olympics, so their athletes are getting asked more. It will be interesting once the Russians start getting asked about it. I believe Plushy was campaigning against it earlier (before it was passed, I guess), but I haven't heard anything recently, and at this point I suppose it could be against the law to speak out against it.

  11. #71

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    Recap commentary piece from the USOC Olympic media summit: http://espn.go.com/olympics/story/_/...ympic-hopefuls
    Excerpt:
    U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun denied that potential American Olympians were told not to speak their minds about the issue.

    "What we are doing is making our athletes aware of the law and aware of the possible consequences," Blackmun said here Tuesday. "Because our job is first and foremost to make sure our athletes are safe as possible while they're in Russia."

    The difficulty is determining just what will and will not be allowed under the new Russian law that bans promoting what it states as "non-traditional sexuality." Blackmun said the USOC is seeking clarification, but "I'm not sure the IOC [International Olympic Committee] will be able to give it to us."
    ...
    [USOC Chairman Larry] Probst said he would absolutely vote in favor of an amendment to the Olympic charter that would ban any discrimination against athletes based on sexual orientation.
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  12. #72
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    I'm not sure that I "get" why those who are choosing to not make an individualized strong statement are getting almost put on a "list" like they are somehow betraying their obligations as Olympians, by people like Phil Hersh.

    It is obviously an important and high profile issue, but to expect every athlete to have an opinion that is based on enough conviction seems unrealistic to me. Ashley Wagner made clear that she has several personal reasons, including gay family members, that drive her feelings. Her feelings on this topic are thus likely to have been long formulated and thought out, making her taking a stance, logical and with substance.

    For those who this has not been as key an issue in their lives, putting them in some sort of penalty box for not speaking out individually, would just seem false.

  13. #73

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    Maybe I'm wrong, but I think the people who made some sort of "no comment" response hasn't been criticized to the degree as those who sort of go beyond that.
    "Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." - Ambrose Bierce

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cherub721 View Post
    I haven't really seen anyone from another country be questioned about the law and I guess no one has decided to take the initiative to issue a statement on their own. I think it might be that the USFS is the only federation that seems to be organizing those big press conferences to promote the Olympics, so their athletes are getting asked more. It will be interesting once the Russians start getting asked about it. I believe Plushy was campaigning against it earlier (before it was passed, I guess), but I haven't heard anything recently, and at this point I suppose it could be against the law to speak out against it.
    The Russian athletes are in a special situation no others are.

    But I do wonder why there isn't more discussion of skaters from other countries and why they are not speaking out? People are jumping on Agnes Z and others for comments they've made, but what about all the athletes that aren't saying anything at all? That's just fine? Why aren't gay rights groups in other countries pushing more on this--for their national federations or Olympic committees?
    Congratulations 2014 World Ice Dance Champions Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte!!!

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueRidge View Post
    The Russian athletes are in a special situation no others are.

    But I do wonder why there isn't more discussion of skaters from other countries and why they are not speaking out? People are jumping on Agnes Z and others for comments they've made, but what about all the athletes that aren't saying anything at all? That's just fine? Why aren't gay rights groups in other countries pushing more on this--for their national federations or Olympic committees?
    Good point. It's not like Agnes took it upon herself to tweet that she didn't want to give involved in the political part of it. She was at a press conference, arranged to hype the prospective US Olympic team, and everyone got asked (frankly, I think it's a little early to be hyping the team, since a number of these skaters might not even make the team, including Agnes... ). The skaters from other countries (and US skaters who don't get invited to media events) have essentially done the same thing without saying "I'm not getting involved." If you rounded up a panel of skaters from Japan, Canada, or France, they could get themselves into hot water too. I don't care for what Agnes said but I don't know that she should be singled out for saying something slightly different than "I'm letting the USOC speak for me."

  16. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by judiz View Post
    Seriously? There are tons of young adults in their early 20's who do speak out against discrimination and bullying. They are the leaders of tomorrow and they should be encouraged to make a difference. As for Evan and Jeremy, they are not kids, they are adults, who are old enough to vote, be drafted and get elected to public office in certain places.
    Exactly. The minimum age to hold a seat in the House of Representatives is 25. They are not in any way "kids". Gracie is. The others are not.

  17. #77

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    Patrick was asked by the Canadian media (in short--he does not support discrimination but don't expect him to play the role of politician in Sochi). There's a thread about it somewhere (which I refuse to read). Other Canadian Olympians have been interviewed. Some have attended gay pride parades throughout the country.

    But I was surprised journalists didn't ask questions to the Canadian skaters at their annual get-together in September (I think Patrick was asked in a separate setting). At the very least, I don't recall any articles about what other Canadian skaters said at that time.

  18. #78

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    I remember really disliking what Chan said, but like Agnes's statement, it wasn't unexpected as they are essentially saying they are only worrying about their own path to the Olympics. Like I said, it's understandable, but I personally don't like it (for a great number of reasons, but one being that people are still only seeing this as a "gay" issue and if it was surrounding a law that persecuted other types of people, people would be much more willing to decry it). I may be wrong though. I'm sure there were athletes that would have ignored laws that persecuted people based on race since they are only worried about qualifying and competing at the Olympics. We also have people bring up other types of abuses that get ignored, which is also a fair criticism but doesn't take anything away from the issue.

    Regarding criticizing skaters for speaking out one way or the other, I don't see anything wrong with that since they are doing a public event and are pretty much public figures now. I know many others disagree with me, however.
    "Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." - Ambrose Bierce

  19. #79

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    I don't want this to be all about Chan, but his comments were different from Agnes' in that he did express his own general opinions about gay rights and discrimination.

    http://www.thestar.com/sports/skatin..._in_sochi.html

    But, in his opinion, Chan said someone’s sexuality or race shouldn’t put them at any disadvantage in life — especially when it comes to competing at the Olympics on a world stage.

    “It doesn’t matter what colour you are or what sexuality you are, if you are successful, if you have something to show, you have talent, you deserve to be on the ice with everyone,” he said.

  20. #80
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    I don't have a problem with people criticizing the statements of the skaters, just so long as they don't start making it seem like the skaters are responsible for the law itself. That is to say, I think it needs to be kept in perspective.
    Congratulations 2014 World Ice Dance Champions Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte!!!

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