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.
Says 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."