US skating star says it would be ‘a little rude” to speak out against Russia’s anti-gay law

Jeremy Abbott: 'I don’t want to say bad things about a country that’s hosting the world, essentially'

US skating star says it would be ‘a little rude” to speak out against Russia’s anti-gay law
26 August 2013

Figure skating star Jeremy Abbott, a three-time US national champion, says it would be ‘a little rude’ to be critical of Russia for its anti-gay propaganda law.

‘Russia is hosting us,’ Abbott tells the Denver Post. ‘I’m not going to go into somebody’s house and be like, "Um, the way you decorate is hideous, and you need to completely redo this or I’m never coming back."’

‘It’s a little rude,’ he adds. ‘So I don’t want to say bad things about a country that’s hosting the world, essentially.’

Russia’s hosting of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi has put international focus on its controversial law that makes it illegal to publicly show support of homosexuality.

‘Maybe I don’t agree with their policies, and maybe I don’t agree with some things, but that’s for them to sort out,’ Abbott says. ‘My speaking out just makes me look like an ass.’

While Abbott will not speak out about the anti-gay law, he did express relief that President Barack Obama is not calling for a US boycott of the games.

Thank God,’ Abbott says. ‘Being an athlete and having trained so long for this, I would just be crushed if that was taken away. Pulling athletes out of a competitive event isn’t going to solve some country’s political disputes. It’s only going to affect the athletes, and it’s not going to do anything to change their policies or change the country or change the world.’

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