January 29, 2010, - 11:00 am
**** SCROLL DOWN FOR UPDATE – Hilarious Video ****
I sympathize with U.S. Olympic figure skating star Johnny Weir. He’s feeling the heat of the animal rights fanatics, and unfortunately has been forced to buckle to them, lest his Olympic dreams get dashed. Sadly, it’s a case of the intolerance of the politically correct and their threats of violence trumping all.
Weir, known for his flamboyant costumes both on and off the ice, likes to wear fox fur on his costumes. And PETA a/k/a PUTAh (People for the Unethical Treatment of Animals and humans) and others have raised a fuss. He’s participating in his second Olympics in Vancouver in February, and he’s worried that the loony orthodox animal rights activists will disrupt his performances there, and cost him a gold medal.
And because of this fear–which I think, given the craziness of these people, is legitimate and justified–Weir has agreed not to wear fur at the Olympic Games. But I like the way he responded, telling the animal rights bizarros that he’s not giving in to them. He posted his classy but firm statement to them on IceNetwork.com. Here’s an excerpt:
I would like to announce that due to pressures and threats from a certain animal rights group [DS: he's referring to PETA] I will be changing the genuine fox fur on my free program costume that I will use in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, B.C., to white faux fur. I made this decision after several threats were sent to me about disrupting my performance in the Olympic Games and my costume designer, Stephanie Handler, was repeatedly sent messages of hate and disgust. I do not want something as silly as my costume disrupting my second Olympic experience and my chance at a medal, a dream I have had since I was a kid.
I want to publicly acknowledge my knowledge of the fur trade industry and the fact that I am totally understanding of the methods used in this industry. I also understand both sides of the argument of animal activists and fur lovers alike. My knowledge comes from years of torment from several anti-fur groups in America and abroad. I do get the messages, and I do hear you.
I am not a person who holds ill will to anyone, and I respect these activists as they are living their freedom of opinion and speech, but I am also entitled to my own decisions and choices.
I hope these activists can understand that my decision to change my costume is in no way a victory for them, but a draw. I am not changing in order to appease them, but to protect my integrity and the integrity of the Olympic Games as well as my fellow competitors.
**** UPDATE: Reader Ari send this hilarious video of Johnny Weir. Don’t drink anything while watching.
Tags: 2010, animal rights activists, Animals rights, figure skating, fox fur, fur, hate, Johnny Weir, Olympic Games, Olympics, PETA, Stephanie Handler, threats, Vancouver, violence