Blake Skjellerup | Johnny Weir | News | Olympics | Russia | Sochi Olympics

Gay Olympians Blake Skjellerup and Johnny Weir Speak Out on CNN Against Sochi Boycott: VIDEO

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Speed skater Blake Skjellerup and figure skater Johnny Weir are in agreement that a boycott of the Sochi 2014 Games over Russia's inhumane treatment of gay people is a bad idea and speak out about how the presence of openly gay athletes at the Games may send a more powerful message.

Check out their conversation, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Johnny Weir is a narcissistic dumbass.. Of course he'd be against a boycott.. All he sees is individual atheletes and their precious medals.. Meanwhile the country that he fawns over all the time is allowing it's citizens to torture and harass it's own citizens for being born gay. Didn't we learn anything from the 1936 Olympics in Berlin? If anything, going will embolden the Russians because then they control the discussion. Just like Germany 1936

    Posted by: jackJake | Aug 3, 2013 1:42:07 PM


  2. Their responses are kind of disappointing, particularly Johnny's -- his "I'm so flamboyant already I don't need to make a statement" is ultimately rather ineffectual.

    And no, you can't separate "politics" from sports, or anything else, for that matter. Everything we do, every minute of every day, is essentially a political choice.

    Posted by: Joseph | Aug 3, 2013 1:46:47 PM


  3. I don't necessarily think they're wrong that sending out and proud athletes there is sending a powerful message and may be more effective than an ineffective boycott, but given the very real danger to LGBT people -- especially fans and workers attending the event -- a cancellation of the entire thing by the IOC would be better than a boycott and would send an even more powerful message: we will not tolerate any country making it unsafe or threatening anyone attending our games.

    That is what needs to happen at this point, as much as I'll feel bad for all the athletes involved. I'd say move it, but I don't think that's possible at this point, even if they delayed the games by a year or two.

    Posted by: Ryan | Aug 3, 2013 1:46:51 PM


  4. Johnny Weir is so obsessed with Russian culture he's probably willing to let it slide. Yes, he seems to be that dumb.

    Posted by: Paulie | Aug 3, 2013 1:49:45 PM


  5. This is a complete mess... I completely understand their point, I think Harvey Feinstein summed it up best: "...And Olympic athletes, I understand: You’ve worked your asses off for this for years, but there are still bigger things than you hanging something around your neck. There are bigger things in this world."

    Posted by: Gerry | Aug 3, 2013 1:54:00 PM


  6. Fur fag Johnny Wierdooo. CANT. STAND. HIM.

    Posted by: James | Aug 3, 2013 2:01:52 PM


  7. Dear Weir,

    Please move to Russia, fairy princess. Also, stop taking your style cues from Pee Wee Herman, pls.
    Love,
    Munro

    Posted by: Munro | Aug 3, 2013 2:16:14 PM


  8. Yet nobody's talking about The World Champioships beginning next week in Moscow.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Aug 3, 2013 2:22:32 PM


  9. I don't blame them; just don't agree with them. They are just additional victims of the Russian repression.

    Posted by: candideinnc | Aug 3, 2013 2:24:51 PM


  10. Can you say spineless.

    CNN gave them the perfect format to call on every athlete gay or straight that believes in human rights equality to participate in a solidarity showing and they hid behind 'my presence is enough'. When history looks back at your moment in history for standing up for human rights this is what they'll see 'My presence is enough'. They should both be ashamed. The Michigan trainer got it right. Being in Sochi without making a statement against oppression is tantamount to acceptance.

    Maybe they've been too busy training to watch the torture videos coming out of Russia this past week.

    Posted by: I TOOK BEATINGS FOR YOU | Aug 3, 2013 2:25:18 PM


  11. Sad. Infuriating. They only have a vested interest in themselves - not the rest of the LGBT community (Russians and visitors).

    Posted by: Geoff | Aug 3, 2013 2:30:59 PM


  12. Look at all the judgmental queens who are bitching that world class athletes won't do the work for them. Do yourself a favor. Go to the gym, start training, get to that level, and then do your own statement boycott. They signed up to play a sport, not be your proxy.

    Posted by: J Y | Aug 3, 2013 3:01:57 PM


  13. You will be hard pressed to ever find an olympic athlete in favor of an olympic boycott. They spend years training for the Olympics. They will always have a reason why it's better to compete than to boycott.

    Posted by: shawnthesheep | Aug 3, 2013 3:03:16 PM


  14. It's not just the years spent training, its the second and third jobs parents and siblings have taken to fund Olympic level training and competing. It's the literal fact that nearly every single person in your intimate world has sacrificed years and effort and time for this moment. And its about the fact that, for many sports, the athletes have windows of less than 10 years and possibly less than 5...one chance. It's very easy for us from the outside to call for them to sacrifice what has been their whole life and render meaningless all that others have sacrificed to get them, specifically, to the Olympics, in order to make a purely symbolic stand against a truly, truly odious policy, but we have to respect that it is not as cut and dry as boycott activist want it to be for these athletes and countries. And no one is simply selfish for not sacrificing their livelihood and dreams for a cause, nor are they greedy. People are human.

    Posted by: BreckRoy | Aug 3, 2013 3:15:25 PM


  15. Criticism of Weir always includes a slam on his masculinity.

    Ironic given that "masculine" types always sit back and let the queers and femmes do the fighting for our rights.

    Posted by: QJ201 | Aug 3, 2013 3:16:54 PM


  16. 'won't do the work for them'

    Like Weir's marriage, for instance? You think he did that all by himself you condescending prick? Or did he rely on prior generations of LGBT activists that stood up to mob mentality and got their heads bashed so that he could be out, proud, and married?

    Posted by: I TOOK BEATINGS FOR YOU | Aug 3, 2013 3:17:11 PM


  17. No QJ201, queers and femmes are just the loudest ones, hard to ignore, even when you want to, which is always. The REAL work is done buy average gay guys in the halls of power that you dont see. Queers and femmes are 10% of the gay population, but make 90% of the noise. Its not all constructive.

    Posted by: Really | Aug 3, 2013 3:22:08 PM


  18. I think the nastiness towards these athletes is pretty disappointing. It isn't a cut and dry situation, and very easy to judge these guys. I don't agree with them, but they are not saying "Who cares about these persecuted LGBT in Russia" -- bullying and torture of gay people is awful, both on these websites and in Russia and Zimbabwe and everywhere. We need to stop the bullying. And yes, gay bitchery is a straum of bullying, sorry.

    Posted by: David | Aug 3, 2013 3:25:58 PM


  19. Gay athletes absolutely should not have to drop out of the games and throw away everything they've been working for and no one rational is suggesting that. They absolutely have a moral obligation to take every opportunity to shine the spotlight on what's going on in Russia though, and this is terrible interview is a major wasted opportunity and just shows how frustratingly clueless and self absorbed most athletes are.

    Posted by: JMC | Aug 3, 2013 3:42:26 PM


  20. Johnny Weir's Olympics are about personal-careerism and opportunism.

    Posted by: DC | Aug 3, 2013 3:50:08 PM


  21. The Olympics should have been cancelled under Hitler, and they should be cancelled under Putin. That's how you send a goddamn message.

    Posted by: eric | Aug 3, 2013 3:52:05 PM


  22. We need real gay MEN like BLAKE SKJELLERUP and less femmes like Weir.

    Posted by: litper | Aug 3, 2013 3:56:15 PM


  23. Weir's Olympic chances are in his past. He's 29, an inconsistent performer on his best days and there are younger, more talented skaters who have been busy while he was making a crappy reality program. What he has to say is irrelevant.

    Skellerup has asked for funds from supporters so he can train and go to Sochi. I wish him well but he'll get no help from me.

    Posted by: Palmer | Aug 3, 2013 4:13:21 PM


  24. It might be worth pointing out that, even if these guys want to do something about the situation, at this point they would not have a good idea as to what to do (the optimal choice would depend on what others are going to do), and even if they did, it would be rather daft of them to broadcast it on TV to give the Russians plenty of lead time to figure out the optimal way to respond.

    My guess is that the Russians will de facto suspend the anti-gay law in Sochi during the Olympics due to the international reaction if athletes or spectators were arrested for merely waving a rainbow flag, wearing a pin, or even demonstrating in some reasonably orderly way.

    Putin may be a rat, but he is not an idiot, and
    as a former Lieutenant Colonel in the KGB and head of the FSB (a KGB successor), he certainly knows how to tighten the screws to get what he wants.

    Posted by: Bill | Aug 3, 2013 4:18:20 PM


  25. Your money will send an even bigger message when it is used to persecute and oppress LGBT Russians and used to protect the cops and civilians who murder and bash LGBT people.

    Posted by: Sean | Aug 3, 2013 4:18:29 PM


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