Johnny Weir | News | Russia | Sochi Olympics

Johnny Weir Tries to Explain His Outburst at LGBT Activists Opposing His Stance on Russia

Earlier today we reported on Queer Nation's protest of gay figure skater Johnny Weir at an event he was hosting last night at Barnard College in NYC.

WeirThe protest was held in opposition to Weir's decision to serve as an NBC correspondent during the upcoming Sochi Games in Russia and his ongoing defense of Russia. Weir called the longtime LGBT activists "idiots" during the Barnard event and was called on it by activist Andy Humm.

Weir wrote a lengthy explanation for his behavior, which reads, in part:

Cut to this week when I was speaking at a university and called a small group of people protesting my speech, idiots, for no other reason that my tongue getting away from me. This kind of talk is usually relegated to the safety of my own friend groupings and family but for some reason, I felt like a threatened underdog and needed to take a dig at the people who had me on edge. At the end of my speech I opened the floor to a Q&A and it turned out that those very people protesting my speech, were actually friends of the faculty and brave LGBT activists who stood in the same room as me. I felt, and still feel, a great deal of remorse for allowing myself to insult other people, fighting in their own way, and for using insulting words instead of my usual cheerleading antics for one and all.

What my speech related to was the role of athletes at the upcoming Russian Olympics, and as if it isn’t obvious, this is a topic I know a lot about and am very passionate about. I will preface this also by saying that it’s been a while since I was last protested in person and for the last month I have been dealing with an unsafe fan situation, so to say the least, I am on high alert and high self-protection mode. However, I realized that there is no excuse to hurl insults at those who oppose you, or those who think differently than you and as a believer in free will and free speech, I allowed my own fear and emotion to get the better of me and for a moment I became a hypocrite.

He adds:

Despite many activists bravery, they also have a very pointed way of trying to make everyone around them an activist and to stand for a cause. My stance of being pro-athlete before being pro-gay has ruffled so many feathers and it becomes difficult to speak publicly because of this fight. As a non-confrontational person, I take it very hard (obviously) when I offend people or they feel the need to tell me that I am awful. Many activists also believe that change starts with a revolution, a term that terrifies me. I am not against activism in any way, but I don’t have the strength of character to not only revolutionize my life on a daily basis but also the lives of others. Our differences are vast, but we all live for a purpose.

Read Weir's full post here.

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  1. Johnny, if they are behaving like idiots you have every right to call them idiots. No need to explain.

    Posted by: Morris Schwartz | Dec 3, 2013 8:14:31 PM

  2. Spoken like a true idiot.

    Posted by: Oncemorewithfeeling | Dec 3, 2013 8:19:21 PM

  3. Johnny, go away. Just go.

    Posted by: K | Dec 3, 2013 8:19:25 PM

  4. Johnny should just be happy that the lgbt rights activists that came before us and made this level of acceptance possible, weren't like him.

    "Before being pro-gay"? What a selfish, careless, heartless excuse of a person.

    Right when you think he can't get any worse, he does.

    Posted by: Chris | Dec 3, 2013 8:20:29 PM

  5. Johnny is not the best as a politician or a public figure -- being all things to all people. He's going to have a hard time cashing in because of it. He keeps trying however.

    Olympic athletes want to go to the Olympics and they don't like it when countries boycott. Gay people need to tell Russia to stick it. He can't be on both sides.

    The whole nation-state concept is so 19th century. We need to rethink how athletes participate in the Olympics.

    Ted Turner had some ideas for an alternative didn't he?

    Posted by: Fahd | Dec 3, 2013 8:20:35 PM

  6. But, of course, he won't step down from his role with NBC and boycott the Sochi Olympics as he should. No no... that would be too magnanimous - after all he is there for the boatload of money NBC is paying him, for the celebrity status and of course, his ignorance and stupidity to support such a bigoted and discriminatory regime and the IOC.

    He can't wash this over with a phony apology. He has destroyed himself with his greed against his own kind. The queen is a traitor to his own gay community and we'll never forget that. I support my gay family around the world and I won't be watching the Sochi Olympics much less Johnny Weir.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Dec 3, 2013 8:21:59 PM

  7. This should also say that Weir's apology was posted early this morning, well before the backlash of today. It's only being reported on now. Also, the activists have called him "moron," "idiot," "twit," and many more choice names. There are "outbursts" all around. He is echoing the sentiments of those who feel that much of the activism around this issue has lacked focus and targeted the wrong people. (IE an American skater rather than the Russian government.)

    Posted by: b | Dec 3, 2013 8:24:07 PM

  8. How dare this gay man express a political opinion that hasn't been approved by the Thought Police. How dare he!! If I could get near him I'd give him such a slap.

    Posted by: Give Fascism a Chance | Dec 3, 2013 8:27:28 PM

  9. can't stand him

    Posted by: Patrick | Dec 3, 2013 8:28:39 PM

  10. Before he was pro-athlete, he was pro-Russian military. I won't be watching the Olympics, just like I didn't see Ender's Game (which tanked). The Olympics have lost all virtue in my eyes. There is now way I could celebrate with Russia knowing exactly how vicious and inhumane they are to people like me there.
    Just can't happen !

    Posted by: PairInstabilitysupernova | Dec 3, 2013 8:29:56 PM

  11. He needs to STFU. He's not pro-athlete or pro-gay, he's pro-Johnny Weir. A spineless opportunist that's only apologizing to save face.

    Posted by: andy | Dec 3, 2013 8:35:56 PM

  12. That line about being pro-athlete before being pro-gay is by far the most coherent thing he's said on this topic. I'm sure almost everyone would disagree with that feeling here, but at least he's made an attempt to explain his position. Unfortunately it's too little too late. That appearance in the Russian military uniform was an epic fail, had nothing to do with being pro-athlete, and everything to do about looking like a Russian puppet. He'll never recover from that.

    Posted by: brian1 | Dec 3, 2013 8:42:03 PM

  13. He never did win a gold medal, did he?

    Posted by: Fahd | Dec 3, 2013 8:46:46 PM

  14. I cheer and agree with Mike Ryan!! Jonny Weir ugh.

    Posted by: Will G. | Dec 3, 2013 8:47:19 PM

  15. The time to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds is over. It's time to stand for something, and make no mistake -- the future will judge us unrelentlessy for what we do today.

    Posted by: Elsewhere1010 | Dec 3, 2013 8:56:27 PM

  16. He won US nationals a few times but never worlds.

    The thing that kills me most about this is that he skipped the Olympic Athletes' reception at the White House in 2006 because he was so above W. But bring on a regime that will not only ban gay marriage but try to ban gayness itself and he can't wait to pack his bags and wing it right over!!!

    Plus he constantly refers to himself as an underdog, a sloe sparkly boy on the ice, a real outsider... while raking in appearances and throwing shade on everyone else. He has been given the opportunity to not only have a same sex marriage but to have one with someone originally from another land. That he is so flippant about other having that same opportunity or those who paved the way is damned near maddening.

    Posted by: robroy | Dec 3, 2013 9:03:40 PM

  17. Head strong, I'd say.

    Posted by: barney | Dec 3, 2013 9:10:50 PM

  18. Weak. It's sad when someone chooses their wallet over their principles. At least I HOPE he at least has the principles he sold out.

    Posted by: G | Dec 3, 2013 9:13:49 PM

  19. I don't get why Mr. Weir felt offended. Throughout his career he is been more about showmanship and entertainment value than athleticism.

    Posted by: Rafael | Dec 3, 2013 9:27:34 PM

  20. Geez! He sounds like a Catholic Cardinal. I guess the idiots "out marketed" him. I don't know why he's apologizing...he would have called them idiots no matter what; just like Cardinal Dolan would be anti-gay no matter how he worded it. If he's really in the mood to apologize, why doesn't he apologize for sucking up to Russian bigots and murderers--now there's a real idiot.

    Posted by: woodroad34 | Dec 3, 2013 9:40:13 PM

  21. Yes. Absolutely. Because, as we all know, the annals of history are littered with the corpses of athlete persecution.

    Keep talking, cupcake. Dig yourself into further irrelevance.

    Posted by: FFS | Dec 3, 2013 9:40:34 PM

  22. I used to not like him, but now I respect him more. I think that his apology was a true apology that considers all sides. Not some "sorry you were offended but not sorry about saying it" stuff most people try to pass off as an apology.

    Posted by: stevetalbert | Dec 3, 2013 10:03:23 PM

  23. F you Johnny W

    Posted by: Stephen | Dec 3, 2013 10:30:04 PM

  24. Once an asshat, always an asshat. Perhaps, if he intends to pursue broadcasting, he should take a remedial English class.

    Posted by: maq | Dec 3, 2013 10:30:48 PM

  25. Is this the best we have to offer...?

    Posted by: Redhook | Dec 3, 2013 10:55:22 PM

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