Vice President Mike Pence has finally responded publicly to Adam Rippon.
The American Olympic figure skater has been publicly criticizing Pence for the last few weeks in response to the Vice-President’s role of leading the United States delegation to the Winter Olympics. Rippon has accused Pence of supporting conversion therapy, said he’s an inappropriate selection to lead the team due to his clear record of anti-LGBT policies, and has allegedly refused to meet with the Vice-President to hug it out.
Pence said in a tweet on Wednesday that any ideas of him not supporting Rippon are “fake news”:
.@Adaripp I want you to know we are FOR YOU. Don’t let fake news distract you. I am proud of you and ALL OF OUR GREAT athletes and my only hope for you and all of #TeamUSA is to bring home the gold. Go get ‘em!— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) February 8, 2018
We’re not entirely sure whether the “Fake News” claim is about Pence’s support for gay conversion therapy, his general record on LGBT issues, or the idea that he wanted to talk to Rippon. Whichever one it is, Rippon is certainly on good ground to question the Vice President.
Rippon hasn’t been the only one criticizing the selection of Pence. Fellow openly gay Olympian Gus Kenworthy, among others, has also taken issue with the selection. Yet it’s been Rippon V. Pence that has driven the headlines.
In our deeply divided culture, Rippon supporters will resent Pence’s tweet, and Pence supporters will praise it. Hopefully all of them can, for the next two weeks, support all of our athletes together. And hopefully Rippon and other LGBT athletes can shine at these Olympic Games.