Elton John | Johnny Weir | News | Olympics | Russia | Sochi Olympics

Johnny Weir Defends NBC Gig in Russia: 'If it’s Good Enough for Elton John, It’s Good Enough for Me'

Retired Olympic figure skater-turned-NBC correspondent Johnny Weir defended his trip to Russia and his love of the country in an interview with the NYT this week, telling the paper that  his husband, Victor Voronov, a first-generation Russian-American, wants him to speak out and “be more on the side of the gay team.”

WeirWeir doesn't see eye-to-eye with his husband.

Said Weir to the paper:

"I risk jail time just going there, but the Olympics are not the place to make a political statement. I’m not a politician and I don’t really talk about politics. You don’t have to agree with the politics, but you have to respect the culture of a country you are visiting."

“It’s pretty obvious that I’ve been gay my whole life. I don’t need to break any laws or wear a rainbow pin to show people that I support gay rights. I think I’ll do that just by being in Sochi and supporting our people there and know they are not alone."

"The gay community has not reacted well to me because some people think it’s my responsibility to be an activist. They’re expecting me to hate Russia because I haven’t been given equal rights in Russia.”

"If it’s good enough for Elton John, it’s good enough for me. Every country’s going to have its issues."

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  1. Vapid.

    Posted by: Richard | Oct 25, 2013 12:34:05 PM

  2. He has no problem with gay people being murdered and discriminated against in Russia, a place where a sizeable minority want homosexuals to be liquidated.

    Posted by: Clam | Oct 25, 2013 12:38:45 PM

  3. NO one has asked Weir to express a hatred of Russia. As a gay adult who is gay-married, he has a duty to at least voice his disapproval of Russian law, and its devastating effects on Russian LGBTs., and he's in an exceptional position to do so.

    Posted by: Jerry | Oct 25, 2013 12:40:28 PM

  4. Much like Thomas Roberts, it is all about money and publicity. Who cares what this attention seeking idiot thinks.

    Posted by: Perry | Oct 25, 2013 12:43:30 PM

  5. Pathetic little coward.

    Posted by: TruthTeller | Oct 25, 2013 12:43:38 PM

  6. Oh sweetie, you're no Elton John.

    It's irresponsible for NBC or anyone else involved in the Olympics to send openly gay employees to Russia.

    "the Olympics are not the place to make a political statement."

    First of all, why not? What's so sacred about the Olympics? Second, a political statement is "I think taxes are too high." We're talking about people like himself being essentially outlawed and at risk of violence with little or no protection from the government. Saying that sucks is not political, it's humanitarian.

    Posted by: Josh V | Oct 25, 2013 12:47:56 PM

  7. A second-rate Olympic athlete who always worried about being in the news instead of improving his supposed talent.
    As Eric Cartman might say, "Suck my balls, Johnny."
    But let me get them nice and vinegary first

    Posted by: dommylu | Oct 25, 2013 12:50:18 PM

  8. Remember he is also an advocate of the fur industry. What can we expect from such a selfish idiot!?! I gave up on this guy long ago.

    Posted by: Andrew | Oct 25, 2013 12:51:03 PM

  9. blah blah blah paycheck, blah blah blah attention, blah blah blah ego. End of story.

    Posted by: hugo | Oct 25, 2013 12:51:37 PM

  10. "If it’s good enough for Elton John, it’s good enough for me."

    Looking forward to his performances at Rush Limbaugh's next big life event.

    Posted by: tranquilo | Oct 25, 2013 12:51:43 PM

  11. Well, looks like NBC is doing everything possible to make it's Olympics, which I was already becoming inclined to ignore, even more of something to tune out of.

    Posted by: MrRoboto | Oct 25, 2013 12:52:37 PM

  12. Should he also rip apart other countries participating? Take a stand against the Jamaican Bobsled team? Trash a skier from Uganda? Be mean to skaters from Suadi Arabia?

    If he is supposed to be an activist why not be an activist here in the US where our rights aren't equal from place to place.

    Posted by: Homo Genius | Oct 25, 2013 12:52:54 PM

  13. This isn't a "political" issue, Weir. It's a humanitarian issue, and you're calling on an equally cowardly queen to justify turning a blind eye to our agonizing brothers and sisters.

    Now, if your plan is to act complacent now and then do a bait-and-switch pro-gay rights demonstration once you're in, then that would be genius. One can dream...

    Posted by: vmarq | Oct 25, 2013 12:55:35 PM

  14. "respect the culture of the country you are visiting" ...seriously? Your "respecting" Russian culture in this case is also supporting and condoning what they are doing to LGBT citizens at this time.
    Why don't you take your "respect" parade to Jamaica, Uganda and any number of other countries instead..oh wait, there are no $$ involved. Johnny, when you are thrown in jail in Sochi, I hope you do not expect anyone to make a "political" statement to try and get you out...

    Posted by: mark | Oct 25, 2013 12:57:28 PM

  15. Rafalca.

    Posted by: Landon Bryce | Oct 25, 2013 12:58:15 PM

  16. I dislike him immensely. I wish he would STFU. Nobody cares. It would be newsworthy that you would stand up for gay people (you are hardly "risking arrest" by just being there, you attention whore), but your not doing so makes you even more irrelevant than you already were.

    Posted by: John K. | Oct 25, 2013 1:03:00 PM

  17. Does this kid have any connection with reality?

    Posted by: Jack M | Oct 25, 2013 1:05:54 PM

  18. his whole theory that he doesn't have rights in NJ so therefore why should he expect rights in Russia? Well, NJ has gay marriage and Russia has legalized gay bashing and NJ hasn't at least not yet. I'm particularly galled that he would wear the Russian garb that irked the USOC after their officially sanctional hate campaign. I have to conclude he wants attention so the difference between he and Ted Cruz, Johnny has a better butt, at least for now.

    Posted by: Cd in Dc | Oct 25, 2013 1:08:49 PM

  19. Very shameful man.

    Posted by: Jason | Oct 25, 2013 1:08:55 PM

  20. Every time he speaks on this issue, all he does is vindicate my years of disliking him.

    Posted by: OddBet | Oct 25, 2013 1:09:13 PM

  21. avoid anything this person touches.

    Posted by: ed adams | Oct 25, 2013 1:15:04 PM

  22. This is another reason Elton John should not have agreed to go. Its providing cover to Putin. He must be very happy.

    Posted by: Mighty | Oct 25, 2013 1:16:49 PM

  23. Why on earth would he ever wear a Russian military uniform anyway? Doesn't he understand that most members of the Russian military would have no problem murdering him and dumping his body in a forest?
    You don't have to respect any culture that dehumanizes people from the highest political offices to the lowliest altars. Russia is a deeply troubled nation aside from their gross antigay laws.
    He deserves ALL the criticism he is receiving. In this day and age, for an out gay man who has media presence to brown nose a antigay murderous regime is beyond.

    Posted by: yeahIknow | Oct 25, 2013 1:23:45 PM

  24. It's not like he could get any more trivial or pointless if he tried. But as long as NBC wants a gay minstrel show, he'll have a job. Until he proves he's a relative failure at that, too, anyway.

    Posted by: oncemorewithfeeling | Oct 25, 2013 1:26:39 PM

  25. There's something really damaged about this guy. First no self respecting gay person would feel anything but disgust for Russia. Second he's married to a Russian who is telling him he's completely wrong on this issue. Third, I'm sure when NBC hired him it was part of their effort to unburn some bridges with the gay community, by going there to cast a critical eye on Russia. So with all that pushing strongly in one direction, he dons a Russian army uniform and becomes a spokeswhore for Putin.

    Posted by: Brian1 | Oct 25, 2013 1:35:11 PM

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