After online backlash, Fox News retracted a column from its website that claimed the U.S. Olympic Committee was trying to make the sporting event “darker, gayer, different.” The Olympics team column was written by Fox News executive vice president and executive editor John Moody.
Moody was responding to a Washington Post article quoting U.S. Olympic officials were “pleased” that this year’s team “includes more African-Americans and Asian-Americans — and even the first two openly gay men — than recent winter squads.”
The column criticized the presentation of teams at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang: “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.’”
Moody wrote, “If your goal is to win medals, that won’t work.” He added, “In Olympics, let’s focus on the winner of the race — not the race of the winner. No sport that we are aware of awards points — or medals — for skin color or sexual orientation.
“Were our Olympians selected because they’re the best at what they do, or because they’re the best publicity for our current obsession with having one each from Column A, B and C?”
After pulling the article, Fox News said in a statement: “John Moody’s column does not reflect the views or values of Fox News and has been removed.”
Many groups, including GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign, criticized the piece.
“The executive vice president of Fox News targeted some of our nation’s top athletes with vicious anti-LGBTQ and biased rhetoric at what should be the proudest moment of their lives,” Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD, told the Hollywood Reporter.
“These athletes are at the Olympics because they already won by qualifying to represent the United States on the world’s stage; and they did so despite facing discrimination from places like Fox News throughout their careers. Moody should not only apologize to the athletes and fans for this disgraceful post, but Fox News should open their site for diverse athletes to share their own personal stories and perspectives.”