Sportscasters Draw Fire for Comments on Johnny Weir
Posted on Feb 24, 2010
American figure skater Johnny Weir has challenged the norms of his sport with his sartorial flair and his performance style while executing triple axels with the best of them, but pushing boundaries doesn’t usually happen without some kind of backlash. Unfortunately, this has been the case for Weir, who was the subject of jokes and comments—by Olympic broadcast announcers, no less—that gay rights advocates are calling homophobic. —KA
Homophobic remarks made about flamboyant figure skater Johnny Weir and other competitors by two sports announcers have been denounced by The Quebec Gay and Lesbian Council. The group has also called for an apology from Canadian French language broadcaster RDS, reported the Associated Press on Feb. 22.
RDS sports commentators Alain Goldberg and Claude Mailhot swapped wisecracks about Weir, including a suggestion that the figure skater be tested to determine his gender, in a reference to Caster Semenya, a South African runner who was subjected to gender testing after her winning performance last year in Germany. They also suggested that Weir should be competing in women’s events, rather than men’s. The duo further slammed Weir as “a bad example” of figure skating athletes.
AP / David J. Phillip
Johnny Weir blows a kiss to fans before receiving his scores following his short program during the men’s figure skating competition at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver on Feb. 16.