Man, someone oughta boycott me for that headline. Quizzed by the New York Times’ Juliet Macur about his upcoming NBC Sports assignment at the Sochi Winter Games, the suddenly-retired from figure skating Johnny Weir reiterated his comments on a recent episode of “Olbermann”, that he opposes an Olympic boycott and has no intention of using his analyst gig as a platform for protest against Russian law forbidding support of homosexuals.
“I risk jail time just going there, but the Olympics are not the place to make a political statement,” he said. “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,” he said as he gave himself a once-over. “I don’t need to break any laws or wear a rainbow pin to show people that I support gay rights.”
Some of his gay peers — including his husband, Victor Voronov, a first-generation Russian-American — want him to speak out and “be more on the side of the gay team.” Others have vehemently disagreed with the way he has lived his life, like the way he waited until 2011 to acknowledge publicly that he was gay. Weir is sure that his extravagantly expensive Hermès Birkin bag was recently defaced by another gay man who took a marker to its orange leather and wrote an expletive.
“The gay community has not reacted well to me because some people think it’s my responsibility to be an activist,” Weir said. “They’re expecting me to hate Russia because I haven’t been given equal rights in Russia.”
Macur goes on to detail Weir’s long-standing love affair with Russia, noting that an upcoming exhibition tour with gold medalist Yevgeny Plushenko will occur, “a few months after Elton John plays Moscow.”
“If it’s good enough for Elton John, it’s good enough for me,” Weir said.