Thursday, May 12, 2011

Peter Vidmar Steps Down, Jessica Mendoza Steps Up

Peter Vidmar resigned yesterday, just eight days after being named chef de mission by the USOC for the London Olympic Games. Vidmar’s active participation in anti-marriage equality campaigns made his choice more controversial than either he or the USOC anticipated. Public reaction to his appointment made it clear that his anti-gay activism would make him and the USOC lightning rods for controversy and criticism. Vidmar has every right to express his views and support whatever causes he chooses. He just needs to understand that there are consequences to speaking out against people’s rights when you are asked to represent a diverse group of athletes, some of whom are the very people you would like to deny rights to.

One of the really gratifying aspects of this story for me is that Jessica Mendoza, Olympic medal winner and professional softball player, former President of the Women’s Sports Foundation and current Changing the Game All-Star, really stepped up to the plate and hit one out of the park (pardon the pun) on this. She wrote a column in ESPNW and proved herself to be an amazing ally to LGBT people in and out of sport.

I am sure Jessica got some negative reactions to her strong and public stand on this and I appreciate her courage and willingness to speak her mind. She is willing to take the criticism from those who disagree with her that Vidmar apparently did not see coming. Everyone who supports LGBT equality should thank Jessica Mendoza and let her know how much we need and appreciate the actions of allies like her. Thank you, Jessica!


Anonymous said...

The politically correct LGBT media gestapo strikes again. I guess Vidmar doesn't have the right to take a personal position against gay marriage. So much for the first amendment.

Everyone that knows Vidmar agrees he is a class guy. It is the USOC's loss. The fact that he has the balls to stand against gay marriage and gets treated this way says more about you and your cronies than it does about him.

MJM said...

It was a nice, concise article and I am extremely confident that it will continue to be taken out of context--as the comments attached to it already testify.
No matter how many times you or Jessica say that you respect his free speech rights--as do I!--any opposition to his message becomes some gay tyrranical conspiracy. If it were only possible to explain how laughable that is...
Hopefully, he will ALWAYS have the right to express his opinion. But sometimes expressing your opinion has consequences. That doesn't change his right to say it again and again; it just means that those who disagree (and also have free speech rights) may take action, through speech and other means and the consequences become real. This is just as true for the LGBT community as it is for Vidmar--that's what equality means.

Anonymous said...

If you wonder why many people believe the "gay conspiracy" meme consider Pat's statement that Vidmar supporting Prop 8 was "anti-gay activism", when he was contributing to a pro-marriage initiative. A very disturbing interpretation from someone who should know better.

Typical GLBT approach. Anyone that doesn't agree with your progressive worldview is anti-gay. Not just that, but gay activists should be allowed to harass citizens at their businesses and places of employment permanently impacting their ability to earn a living when they exercise their rights as citizens to support initiatives they believe in.

Any student of history can easily draw meaningful parallels to other times when this type of politically correct intimidation was allowed and the unfortunate outcomes. I suggest a bit of introspection is in order.

Pat bounced my last two postings so I doubt that she'll allow this truth to stand either.

Anonymous said...

Oh give me a break. Prop 8 was not pro marriage. Prop 8 was pro one kind of marriage. It would be no different if prop 8 said one white man and one white woman and then and calling THAT pro marriage. IF you don't agree with marriage equality and you actively try to enforce laws to prevent people from having equal access to the law then that's discrimination not "gay rhetoric". But I don't want to confuse you all with logic..

Pat Griffin said...

Anonymous #1 - I did not bounce your posts unless they were obscene or spam. I never block comments because people disagree with me.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous #3 - Let me simplify it for you. Prop 8 was pro traditional marriage. You know, the marriage model that has basically been in place since the beginning of time, that cuts across culture, nation & race and has worked quite well all things considered.

Now I totally get that you folks want to normalize the GLBT lifestyle and world view and jamming gay marriage through is a big step in that direction. I don't happen to agree but it is your right to try and casting you and your friends as victims and the Mormon Church as evil because they believe in traditional marriage as bad people and haters is your strategy. That said I don't believe it is your right to get people fired because they don't agree with you. Particularly if traditional marriage appears is part of the very foundation of their faith and financially supporting that cause is part of that for them. For the record I am neither religious nor Mormon but I recognize intimidation tactics when I see them.

Please don't try to use the worn out GLBT arguments on me. I don't know if you've actually taken any logic coursework, but casting an opposing viewpoint as morally unfair based upon your opinion or biased dogma isn't valid. Also trying to cast gay marriage as a civil rights issue that somehow correlates with with racism is equally invalid. It is however consistent with your self imposed victim role in society.

Pat - I don't spam and I certainly don't post obscene comments. That said, given the GLBT gang's clear view that if people don't agree with their views it is "hate" I can only wonder how you define obscene.

Anonymous said...

Like I said, don't confuse bigots with logic or the facts... it just drives the crazy.

MJM said...

Ummm...if marriage between a man and a woman was ALREADY legal in California--and it was/is--then why was Prop 8 needed? Unless it was to make sure that gays didn't get that right, too? Prop 8 was to change the language to make it clear that only 1 man and 1 woman could marry and that IS anti-gay and discriminatory. Not too hard to understand.
Nobody has to AGREE with giving equal rights to gays, but let's be clear and not lie about it, either.

Anonymous said...

Your continual restating of your claim to the legitimacy of you position doesn't make it right it just means you've said it over and over and over.

Calling those who don't agree with your position bigots also doesn't make your position right, it does however confirm the warped logic behind what your cronies did to those people in Long Beach. It's quite telling that neither of you even made an attempt to apologize for the treatment of those people.

The fact that you implicitly approve of this activity tells any readers of these posts more than I could directly. Thank you for proving my point better than I could have myself.

The supreme court will eventually rule on this issue. If somehow gay marriage is ruled OK stay tuned to the State Legislatures. Their reaction will make the current pro-life legislation docket look like Cliffs Notes in comparison.

Wyman Stewart said...

Not a fan of the IOC or USOC. The USOC should have qualifications in place for vetting candidates, for the volunteer position of chef de mission. If not, they failed the IOC, the USOC, and others, but most of all Peter Vidmar. They offered him the position and in good faith he took it.

Your paragraph that begins: “Yes, Peter Vidmar has a right…” you proceed to condemn Peter Vidmar with faint praise, as do others in linked articles. Given the Peter Vidmar quote that he would work for ALL athletes, the LGBT community should have taken the high road. The high road would be to announce, despite reservations by the LGBT community, the LGBT community would respect Peter Vidmar’s selection. Then, make all aware, the LGBT community plans to protest with vigor to the USOC, when and if, Mr. Vidmar fails to live up to his words. That is the high road.

Why do this? This offers an olive branch to the side the LGBT community doesn’t trust. As Rev. Martin Luther King realized, if one seeks rights, one must understand, those rights will not be received, without the “majority community” joining you, to change minds and hearts. Jews, Whites, and others, before and after the death of Martin Luther King, joined Black people, to help achieve many of King’s dreams of equality. Change came, even if not perfect change. What’s easily lost about King’s dream today is: King chose to persuade, not attack and exclude. You can’t tell Peter Vidmar he has rights, then cheer his exclusion for exercising those rights, and be inclusive.

Eight days later, you got your pound of flesh. You applaud Jessica Mendoza saying, she hit one out of the park. What Jessica Mendoza did, was self-righteously beat Peter Vidmar senseless with her verbal-bat. Why? Because Vidmar exercised his legal, moral, ethical, and political rights, to financially support Proposition 8, while also exercising his free speech right, to speak on behalf of Prop 8’s passage (I am unable to find what he said and your post nowhere quotes what he said). Prop 8 was legally on the ballot, both sides waged one of the most vigorous and expensive campaigns in U.S. History in persuading and getting each side’s supporters out to vote. Peter Vidmar made no attempt to hide his involvement in all this. Somehow this makes him guilty of all your self-righteous, self-serving charges you make against him?

Wyman Stewart said...


Maybe Jessica Mendoza and everyone else with your point of view, would prefer that Peter Vidmar take the Judge Vaughn Walker approach. Judge Vaughn Walker saw nothing wrong with keeping his potential vested interest in the outcome of Prop 8’s court case to himself, rather than openly admit, from the bench, he’s Gay and has a partner. Judge Walker, whose monetary contributions to Prop 8 or his partner’s contributions on their behalf, which are unknown, could have been disclosed also, then Judge Walker could have asked, “Does anyone have an objection to me hearing this case?”

Whatever the courts decide, a reasonable person could see Judge Vaughn Walker as having a potential vested interest in the outcome of the case, based on what he did not say. Would Peter Vidmar be an honorable man by hiding his own vested interests? Your complaints about him imply as much.

Jessica Mendoza, the LGBT movement, and other critics of Peter Vidmar, should race to the Circuit Court of Appeals to have Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision thrown out. Why? The LGBT movement should have the objectivity to see the tainted judge as tainted. The LGBT movement should choose to win on merit, on inclusiveness, not through sleight of hand and underhanded tactics.

(If not Peter Vidmar, then who has Vidmar’s virtues---mentioned by many others; who has his experience; who is recognized and accepted by all lifestyles, etc.?) You have disrespected Peter Vidmar, the USOC, but most of all, your own cause and movement. Your arrogance may not allow you to see this, of course. Reflection is called for. Where’s your respect, your honor, your ethics, and your integrity? In your lust to attack, wound, and destroy, you lost the valuable asset of humanity. I hope you find it and repair the damage you have done to Peter Vidmar and yourself.

May the "chef de mission" be a worthy saint, whoever he or she may be. Hard to believe this is about a VOLUNTEER position.


I think it is anti-gay and discriminatory.

Anonymous said...

This blog post is a great case study for anyone who wants to see a double standard in action.

The blogger lauds Jessica Mendoza for her "courage and willingness to speak her mind." Yet at the same time, the blogger clearly disapproves of Peter Vidmar's "active participation in anti-marriage equality campaigns." In other words, it is praiseworthy and good to publicly support your position, so long as it is the correction position, the blogger's position.

Putting Jessica into Peter's circumstances underscores the point. Assume Jessica resigned from a post because of publicity about her ESPNW column and she becomes a "lightning rod for controversy and criticism." Would the blogger "appreciate" Mendoza's critics who had the "courage and willingness to speak [their] mind[s]"? Or would the blogger label them bigots, haters, and homophobes?

Undoubtedly it would be the latter. Otherwise, the blogger would have credited Vidmar for his courage in financially and vocally supporting a position he supports. Certainly Vidmar, a public figure, was aware that his monetary donation to a campaign could become public information; and, that such a donation could damage his occupational opportunities, voluntary or paid. Yet he still wrote that check and risked the consequences.

Blogger: Applaud Peter Vidmar for his courage and willingness to stand up for his controversial opinion. Otherwise, stand guilty of what you condemn: discrimination.

Jeremiah said...

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cost per head said...

I think that it is the best decision that he made. If he can handle it. It is better for another person to take over.