U.S. Figure Skater Jeremy Abbott: 'It's A Little Rude' To Speak Out Against Russia's Anti-Gay Policies
U.S. figure skater Jeremy Abbott is heading to the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014 and he's making it clear he has no intention of speaking out against Russia's anti-gay laws, but his reason why may make you go, "Hmm...".
Abbott tells The Denver Post:
"Russia is hosting us," Abbott said. "I'm not going to go into somebody's house and be like, 'Um, the way you decorate is hideous, and you need to completely redo this or I'm never coming back.' It's a little rude, so I don't want to say bad things about a country that's hosting the world, essentially.
"Maybe I don't agree with their policies, and maybe I don't agree with some things, but that's for them to sort out. My speaking out just makes me look like an ass."
Abbott goes on to explain why he's glad that their won't be an Olympic boycott, saying: "Thank God, being an athlete and having trained so long for this, I would just be crushed if that was taken away.
"Pulling athletes out of a competitive event isn't going to solve some country's political disputes. It's only going to affect the athletes, and it's not going to do anything to change their policies or change the country or change the world."
We actually totally get why athletes wouldn't advocate boycotting the Olympics. They've worked their entire lives to get there and there are no guarantees that they'll be able to return in four years and compete.
However, Russia's anti-gay laws and the disturbing, violent anti-gay sentiment in that country isn't equivalent to bad interior decorating. A better analogy would be walking into someone's home and watching them physically abuse their child or spouse--and deciding to do nothing.
Abbott and other athletes are certainly under no obligation to speak out; we get them not wanting to risk their shot at gold. But let's not treat what's happening in Russia as if it's just some minor inconvenience or a simple difference of opinion between neighbors. It's far from it.
What do you think, Instincters?