Opinion: Adam Rippon Doesn't Owe His Critics a Single F***ing Word
The Winter Olympics are a week away from finishing over in South Korea, and one of its most polarizing players is openly gay figure skater Adam Rippon, who is representing the United States and has done very well during his time there (he won a bronze medal as part of the figure skating team event).
Adam has been extremely vocal about his political opinions, both prior and during his tenure in Pyeongchang. This is due to Vice President Mike Pence being chosen to lead the US delegation to the 2018 Winter Olympic opening ceremony. Pence has a major history with his support in anti-LGBT matters, which Adam has spoken about in a very frank and honest matter. He's said that he did not want to meet with him during the opening ceremony, and he did not want to go to The White House after the games are over, if he's invited or not.
Of course, he has had to deal with a ton of right-wing and homophobic critics, who in so many words, are a lot like Laura Ingraham in telling him to do a "shut up and skate" sort of thing, but here's the thing Adam: you don't owe them any of that energy. I think you know this already, but let me reiterate.
It's freaking exhausting that gay athletes have to answer these sorts of questions, when they spend years upon years training and perfecting the sport that they are participating in. They aren't spending weeks sweating it up with a coach who is telling them all the right and wrong things to say about how homophobic our politicians are, they are practicing doing what they love and what they are good at. So why is it that all these reporters felt the need to bring up someone who he clearly doesn't want anything to do with?
Has there been a situation, so far in these Olympics, where the press has badgered a straight athlete regarding their opinions about Trump/Pence or anyone in office right now? I can understand why it is all related, in regards to Pence's anti-LGBT history, but its infuriating how we consistently have to answer these questions in a time where we should be celebrated for our accomplishments and not focusing our efforts on the ones who (allegedly) hate our guts.
Adam doesn't seem to care about this, as he has become a shining beacon for the younger generations (as has Gus Kenworthy) to be authentic self and not give a flying f**k what people think about you. I just hope that at some point in my lifetime, that these critics, journalists and whatnot stop focusing on someone's sexuality as a prime source of topic, and focus on what got this particular person there.
A gay man on ice is no different than a straight man on ice, same as a gay man eating a burger is no different than a straight man eating a burger. They. Just. Do It. Case closed.