Figure Skating | Jeremy Abbott | Olympics | Russia | Sochi Olympics | Sports

US Skater Jeremy Abbott Compares Russia's Anti-Gay Laws to Interior Decorating, Won't Criticize

Like many athletes who may be headed to the Sochi 2014 Winter Games, US figure skater Jeremy Abbott is measuring his words, and says he doesn't want to be "rude" to the host country, Russia, even if he may not agree with its laws.

AbbottSays Abbott to 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 adds that he's thankful there isn't a boycott:

"Thank God, being an athlete and having trained so long for this, I would just be crushed if that was taken away," Abbott said. "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."

Fellow figure skater Johnny Weir has said he plans to go and be himself:

"Like anyone I'm afraid of being arrested but also I'm not afraid of being arrested... If it takes me getting arrested for people to pay attention and for people to lobby against this law then I'm willing to take it."

Adding, "I respect the LGBT community full heartedly, but I implore the world not to boycott the Olympic Games because of Russia’s stance on LGBT rights or lack thereof. I beg the gay athletes not to forget their missions and fight for a chance to dazzle the world."

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  1. Well, if you go into someone's home and tell them you don't like their decorating, you won't get locked in the basement and have to give them money.

    Posted by: Jellybean | Aug 25, 2013 9:17:38 AM

  2. When human rights are violated in such a demeaning, horrifying way, it is EVERYBODY'S duty to speak out.

    Posted by: Tre | Aug 25, 2013 9:19:27 AM

  3. False comparison. No one is planning to critique Russia's infrastructure.

    Would you visit someone, and discover that their children are being beaten up or tied down, and decide not to say anything because you don't want to be rude?

    That is the relevant comparison.

    Posted by: Tim | Aug 25, 2013 9:24:59 AM

  4. No dude, it's like you walked into someone's home and they were beating a teenager to death. Is it still rude to say or do something?

    Selfish moron.

    Posted by: Wisebear | Aug 25, 2013 9:25:15 AM

  5. Huh. Speaking out has made him look like an ass.

    Posted by: Marcus | Aug 25, 2013 9:26:30 AM

  6. If you go to someone's house and they say hateful things about your friends, and threaten to throw your friends out of their house, OF COURSE YOU HAVE TO STAY BECAUSE YOU'VE BEEN LOOKING FORWARD TO DINNER FOR SO LONG AND YOU'RE HUNGRY.

    I swear the stupid logic of this entire thing is disgusting.

    Posted by: QJ201 | Aug 25, 2013 9:27:20 AM

  7. An arrogant response. He's worried about himself and no one else.

    Posted by: Reality | Aug 25, 2013 9:29:44 AM

  8. So where are you going on your next trip? Uganda?

    Posted by: fausto fernandez, md | Aug 25, 2013 9:30:47 AM

  9. exactly TIM


    One would hope he isn't so dumb as to use such a false equivalency, but his training probably interfered with his education

    Posted by: Moz's | Aug 25, 2013 9:37:57 AM

  10. Selfish and not very bright prick.

    Posted by: Jay | Aug 25, 2013 9:39:18 AM

  11. Very true and good for them!They have worked extremely hard. Go and dazzle the world! All you men and women deserve to do so! My best wishes to you all!

    Posted by: RaYmO6400 | Aug 25, 2013 9:41:50 AM

  12. As long as Jeremy is straight while in Sochi, he's perfectly fine! He can come out after the Olympics :D

    Posted by: Yodabeesh | Aug 25, 2013 9:42:07 AM

  13. So this is the basic attitude of NBC and Comcast as well, who cares about a minority group that is being horribly abused when there is opportunity for fame and LOTS of money involved!!! I won't watch one minute of this garbage, and I hereby boycott NBC in perpetuity.

    Posted by: Ian | Aug 25, 2013 9:47:59 AM

  14. ...blood dripping from the living room curtains is no reason to rethink my host's decorating scheme, or whatever he said.
    Big thoughts are hurting this boy's brain as he spins, twirls and leaps his sequined path to Russia.

    Posted by: chuck | Aug 25, 2013 9:53:46 AM

  15. I continue to be a strong believer in the boycott. It is gratifying to see so many of you feel the same way, thank you.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Aug 25, 2013 10:03:31 AM

  16. I left a comment on the Facebook wall of his fan site and would encourage others to do so as well. If I walked into someone's house and they were beating a minority you bet I would say something.

    Posted by: Tom | Aug 25, 2013 10:08:06 AM

  17. I couldn't be the only person to observe that many pro and Olympic athletes aren't the brightest bulbs. Most seem pretty pedestrian if not downright dull witted.

    The guy is a highly trained athlete and this is what he's has spent so much time and energy for. I can understand where he's coming from. Is it selfish? Yes, but I'm not going to judge him that harshly.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Aug 25, 2013 10:08:35 AM

  18. Turn of the TV. Hit NBC & the IOC in the pocketbook. Then maybe they'll get the point.

    Posted by: Talisman | Aug 25, 2013 10:12:52 AM

  19. It's all about the MONEY... he hopes for glory, gold, and a lot of endorsements...if the games are boycotted, he gets nothing. A little like looking up while stepping over the bodies at your feet, caring nothing for them, to get a paycheck.

    Posted by: Rational | Aug 25, 2013 10:20:49 AM

  20. ...and now his Facebook page says:
    HOUSE RULES: We reserve the right to take down inappropriate comments, pictures and videos, and uninvited ads. So whoever reads postings to him won't even let him know that some are not pleased with his statements.

    Posted by: Rational | Aug 25, 2013 10:26:28 AM

  21. What a selfish response, all these athletes care about is the pot of gold at the end of the olympics NOTHING ELSE, and will say anything to justify they're actions. Its not about the sport anymore or repping for your country it's only about the $$$$$$.

    Posted by: James | Aug 25, 2013 10:29:53 AM

  22. A better comparison would be, if you walked into somebodies home and they had swastikas and the N word spray painted everywhere, and they were locking up Jews in the basement and lynching black people. I guess in this idiots mind he would just say thanks for having me over, can I have a medal that means nothing to anybody except HIM.
    This guy is a classic self-absorbed athlete. In fact he said, ""Thank God, being an athlete and having trained so long for this, I would just be crushed if that was taken away,"
    Nothing about community or anybody else,. just about how HE would be crushed. I guess being crushed for not having a chance to compete is WAY more important than other people being tortured and LITERALLY crushed to DEATH.
    I started out on the fence on a boycott, but the more I listen to these douchebags, I fully support one.

    Posted by: John | Aug 25, 2013 10:48:14 AM

  23. The one thing I'm sort of liking regarding this entire Olympics situation, and other things such as marriage equality, is that we're REALLY finding out who our true allies are, and those who just speak the good game. Jeremy Abbott, nothing needs to be said that hasn't been. He doesn't really care, and it is what it is. I don't look down on him for it. I just recognize he's not an ally to us and move on, and thank and appreciate those who are.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | Aug 25, 2013 11:05:21 AM

  24. No one commenting here is going to Sochi to protest. You are all gas bags of no action screaming that others should do your work.
    Get off you rumps and go to Russia and protest, or shut up ! Let us see just how big your bravery is at Sochi. It seems HUGE while you sit on the couch !

    Posted by: HenryG | Aug 25, 2013 11:06:03 AM

  25. No one commenting here is going to Sochi to protest. You are all gas bags of no action screaming that others should do your work.
    Get off you rumps and go to Russia and protest, or shut up ! Let us see just how big your bravery is at Sochi. It seems HUGE while you sit on the couch !

    Posted by: HenryG | Aug 25, 2013 11:06:03 AM

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