The United States will be represented in the 2018 Winter Olympics by the most diverse group of athletes ever—and Fox News’ Executive Vice President John Moody is pissed. As a wealthy white man, he is very concerned that the predominantly white and straight team has too much *whispers* diversity.
In an op-ed on Fox News, he writes that having fewer white people on the team means that the United States won’t get as many medals. I guess is just a plain racist and homophobe who believes we’re not made equal—or that the U.S. Olympic Committee has some secret form of affirmative action that somehow makes unqualified athletes perform well and qualify anyway. Forget the fact that the Olympic games are supposed to be about good sportsmanship and camaraderie.
Unless it’s changed overnight, the motto of the Olympics, since 1894, has been “Faster, Higher, Stronger.” It appears the U.S. Olympic Committee would like to change that to “Darker, Gayer, Different.” If your goal is to win medals, that won’t work.
A USOC official was quoted this week expressing pride (what else?) about taking the most diverse U.S. squad ever to the Winter Olympics. That was followed by a, frankly, embarrassing laundry list of how many African-Americans, Asians and openly gay athletes are on this year’s U.S. team. No sport that we are aware of awards points – or medals – for skin color or sexual orientation.
The way Moody writes, you’d think that the team somehow piled a bunch of people off the street to attend the games in South Korea with an emphasis on gay folks and people of color. However, the “ diversity” Moody laments is actually pretty damn small. The Washington Post breaks down the numbers:
Team USA numbers 243 athletes, which is the largest team any nation has sent to a Winter Olympics. Of that group, 10 are African American — 4 percent — and another 10 are Asian American. The rest, by and large, are white. The Winter Games contingent is typically much smaller than its summer counterpart, but the demographic differences are striking. The United States took more than 550 athletes to the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro. Of that group, more than 125 were African American — about 23 percent.
But we know better than to believe someone running Fox News would let something as silly as facts get in the way. It’s more important to push the idea that white and straight people are superior—and if we see someone celebrated as a high achiever who doesn’t fit into those boxes, they couldn’t have earned that on merit.
Stay classy, Moody and Fox News.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.