Recently, more than Johnny Weir’s status as a good role model was questioned when two French-speaking Canadian sports commentators made politically incorrect and insensitive comments about Weir’s gender and sexuality during the national broadcast of his long program performance.
In response to the two commentators, who suggested Weir was a bad role model for being too feminine and flamboyant on ice, Weir called a press conference and showed his mature and thoughtful side. Jokes aside, Weir remained serious throughout the conference about what it meant to believe in oneself and stay true to one’s personality despite other people’s opinions. “Now that we live in this day and age, it’s definitely the time for freedom and it’s definitely the time for people to be unique and to believe in themselves and not conform to anyone for any reason.”
Rather than attack his commentators, Weir expressed his support for them: “As a believer in free speech, I don’t want an apology…I don’t need an apology. I want them to apologize to the people that feel they have been wronged.” He pointed out that any damage done to his reputation wasn’t as important as the damage and negative affects it would have on others, particularly a younger generation, who were still struggling to define themselves.
Johnny Weir’s comments were inspiring because he didn’t make the press conference a personal battleground; he made it an open forum to discuss he importance of individuality and maintaining one’s values. “I hope more kids can grow up the same way that I did and more kids can feel the freedom that I feel to be themselves and to express themselves. That’s the most important thing. That’s the message I wanted to come out of all this because out of ugly…the most important thing to do in life is to make something beautiful.” Weir didn’t get angry once; instead, he remained calm and shared why it was important to have courage and liberty to not let the world dictate or determine who you are inside.
Watch Johnny Weir’s press conference below: