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In defense of Johnny Weir

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A few days ago, a few French-Canadian TV commentators started to talk about Johnny Weir, and how he should be gender tested. In Vancouver, Weir addressed those comments (see previous post) after a public apology was made by the radio station president.

Weir talked about how they insulted him as an individual, that it was not about his skating or his performance at the Olympics. He also said he didn't need an apology and that they should think about what they're saying.

Anyone who listened to my podcast on Outsports, heard me make some pretty critical remarks against Weir. Mine had nothing to do with his personality, but with his performance on a competitive level. I quite often find that Weir's antics detract from making his competitive skating his top priority.

However, the remarks that were made against Weir regarding his gender are insulting. What makes me even more angry is that Quebec is known as one of the most progressive provinces in Canada. Montreal has probably the largest gay population in the country. You can't tell me these commentators didn't realize that they would be stirring the pot once those remarks were made.

Weir puts himself out there. He makes no excuses for who he is. Before he started his long program at the Olympics, a skating analyst said, "Johnny's mom always told him from the time he was little to just be himself." Weir has definitely followed this advice.

I was watching Weir's news conference here in Vancouver with a friend who is straight. He said, "I realize that what they said was wrong. But what do you think is going to come out of a photo shoot with him wearing high heels?" He's right, people are going to talk.

I think the reason Weir didn't really care if the TV commentators apologized is because he realizes that not everyone is going to get what he's about. He puts himself in a position to be talked about, called down or given props for his behavior.

Weirs performances at the Olympics were great. The artistry was true to his form. He won for himself at these Games. He's taking his sixth-place finish better than Evgeni Plushenko did the silver. But I said that for him, these Games were going to be about drama, and this is what is has turned into. He got his avenue for a stage, it's just too bad it had to be about some morons' remarks instead of his skating.