Jonathan Higbee's picture

Johnny Weir Defends NBC Olympics Gig, Will "Respect Culture" Of Russia

The recently retired Johnny Weir has found himself defending his new job, corresponding for NBC Sports during the Sochi Winter Olympic Games, in an interview with the New York Times. 

He explains:

"I risk jail time just going there, but the Olympics are not the place to make a political statement. I’m not a politician and I don’t really talk about politics. You don’t have to agree with the politics, but you have to respect the culture of a country you are visiting."

“It’s pretty obvious that I’ve been gay my whole life. I don’t need to break any laws or wear a rainbow pin to show people that I support gay rights. I think I’ll do that just by being in Sochi and supporting our people there and know they are not alone."

"The gay community has not reacted well to me because some people think it’s my responsibility to be an activist. They’re expecting me to hate Russia because I haven’t been given equal rights in Russia.”

"If it’s good enough for Elton John, it’s good enough for me. Every country’s going to have its issues."

What do you think of Johnny's defense of supporting Russia?



By taking the passive stand shows in fact he is taking a stand. Does he think we're gullible or stupid or both? As gay men, both he and Thomas S. Roberts are such sell-outs. Am glad they are soundly being criticized in the larger gay community for being pawns by the Russian government (and Donald Trump and NBC). Hope their paychecks are ample enough. We out here won't forget the choices they make.

Kind of a vapid statement.  Why does Russian "culture" have to include homophobia, (as he seems to be implying)?  Why the false parallel between making a statement against recent homophobic laws, and "hating Russia"?  He says he doesn't want to make a political statement, then goes on to say that his being in Russia will support "our people," (presumably LGBT athletes, or LGBT Russians).  Honey, being openly gay IS a political statement.  Suffice to say, I don't totally disagree with him on that point, (it's why I somewhat supported Elton's decision to go there, and lauded Cher's decision not to), but would have appreciated a more intelligent statement.  

Do what you feel is right as human being and stand for those who are unable to do so

It takes a great person (or an egocentric jerk with his own agenda, and bank-account) to show respect for somebody (in this case Russia) who doesn't show any respect at all towards this person in return. But it takes a COWARD not to stand up for other people that are shown disrespect just by being who they are.

Add new comment