U.S. figure skater Johnny Weir is the subject of an international outcry over his insistence on wearing real animal fur in his figure skating outfit — despite his prior promise to yield to demands that he use faux fur.
Weir says that he has decided not to stay at a hotel out of fear for his life after receiving threats from anti-fur activists.
Weir says that these people are “crazy” and out to hurt him. He insists “I’m just an easy person to pick on because I like fur . . . It’s a very scary thing. I’m a figure skater, I’m not some huge politician who gets these things all the time.”
The controversy began when Weir wore white fox fur on his shoulder at the nationals. He promised to wear faux fur at the Olympics since many Americans object to the use of real fur — but then changed his mind. He just says “I don’t like faux fur.”
While he is ticking off many of his countrymen, he should find some kindred spirits in Canada given the earlier push to use seal fur, here.
While I often have problems with the extent that anti-fur protesters will go in opposing the wearing of fur, I do think that when you represent the nation you should make small accommodations like wearing faux fur. This is a small part of the outfit to cause such a great controversy. I am sure that the U.S. Olympic Committee would pay for any rash that Weir would develop in coming into contact with less than three inches of faux fur.
By the way, the outfit shown on the link below is uniquely ugly in my opinion.
There may be room for compromise. For example, we could lock Weir in a ring with twenty white foxes and let them settle the matter like mammals. Now that would be a ratings hit.
The other compromise would be for Weir to be able to wear real fur (and avoid that painful touch of faux fur on his shoulder), but the animal must be alive. Once again, that would be something to see. A double lutz with a live fox could be a new category for competition. Soon, the French would do Choctaw turns with live seals, the Germans could do Stag leaps with real stags, the Saudis could do camel spins with real camels, the Egyptians could do Arabesques with Arabian horses, the Australians could be sheep jumps with actual sheep, and the Russians could do Russian Splits with live minks. (We could draw the line at using actual Mohawks for Mohawk turns or corpses for death spirals). This could be the start of a new age in skating.
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