Carnes: A personal plea to Lindsey Vonn in regards to comments about racing for U.S., not Trump (column)
Lindsey, Lindsey, Lindsey,
Why’d you have to sound so ditzy?
I’m sure you felt a little goosey,
But you could’ve stood and done a curtsey,
Then told CNN not to be so damn nosey.
“You’ve competed in the Olympics under two presidents … how will it feel competing in the Olympics for a United States whose president is Donald Trump?”
OK, yes, I get it.
Shame on CNN for baiting you with such a ridiculously loaded question, but surely by now you have the experience to handle such moronic interrogations. You allowed yourself to fall into a politicizing trap, one unworthy of your career accomplishments on skis, yet sadly part of today’s cultural landscape.
And shame on Fox & Friends for milking your comments as they attempted to paint you with an unpatriotic brush, implying you don’t wish to represent Americans who voted for Trump.
I have no problem with you not wishing to acknowledge our national embarrassment currently occupying the office of President, and of course, dissent is permitted under the First Amendment, but you unwittingly opened the floodgates to politicize the Olympics more than they already are.
Your successor to the American throne for female athletes, Mikaela Shiffrin, has now been thrown to the wolves as fresh meat for all the little Trumpette sheep to decide if they will support her or not, as well, along with every American athlete talented enough to make it to Pyeongchang in seven short weeks.
This is what’s occurring nationwide right this very minute — believe me.
You, the most decorated American skier in history, are being slammed on social media sites with demands that you be kicked off the Olympic team, lose endorsements and even a recommendation to have your passport rescinded by Trump himself.
Sure, they’re a bunch of self-righteous morons who wouldn’t know which end of a ski pole points down, but you’ve painted yourself into a corner with the only escape being a gold medal, and then you went and hurt your back last weekend.
Unfortunately I will not be able to race today. I am extremely disappointed but my biggest goal this season is the Olympics and I need to take care of myself now so I can be ready for next week, and more importantly, for February. As always, thank you for the well wishes ❤️??
— lindsey vonn (@lindseyvonn) December 10, 2017
Weren’t you under enough pressure as it was?
We can agree an invitation is not a demand, but you blew the chance to accept or decline one graciously.
A short list of other prominent athletes who have shunned White House invitations for various reasons, including direct disagreements with the president at the time, include New England Patriots’ Tom Brady and Martellus Bennett, Pittsburgh Steeler James Harrison, basketball’s Michael Jordan and Larry Bird, baseball’s Manny Ramirez and Tony La Russa, along with a handful of NASCAR drivers.
None caused such fanfare until now, thanks to the melting snowflake Trump supporters who only know how to attack personal opinions, as opposed to defending the indefensible.
Lindsey, you have earned your spot on the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team. It did not come with a condition that you support anyone in particular; just that you represent all Americans as an ambassador and do the very best you can in your sport.
All you have to do is represent America at the games to the best of your ability and then simply skip the after party if you wish, regardless of the outcome.
No politicized explanations necessary.
Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.