Fox News occasionally tries to play down its racism and homophobia. This week, Fox News executive editor and executive vice president John Moody took the gloves off.
Even as the U.S. Olympic team remains still overwhelmingly white and straight, Moody attacked the team and said this year's group of "'darker, gayer, different" athletes will let the country down.
"Unless it’s changed overnight, the motto of the Olympics, since 1894, has been 'Faster, Higher, Stronger,'" he wrote. "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."
Is there any way to read that opening paragraph other than as an attack on LGBT people and people of color?
The op-ed was written in response to a Washington Post piece that celebrated a more diverse U.S. Olympic team than ever before.
"USOC officials are pleased the team includes more African Americans and Asian Americans — and even the first two openly gay men — than recent winter squads," wrote reporter Rick Mease for the Post. "But they also realize this year’s U.S. Olympic team, not unlike those of most other nations gathering in PyeongChang this week, is still overwhelmingly white."
Moody believes this marginally more diverse team risks losing the U.S. some medals.
When minorities are excluded from participation in an activity, like the Olympics, it limits the candidate pool. Eliminating barriers to people who have historically been excluded, like people of color and members of the LGBT community, can actually raise the quality of potential Olympians, making victory more — not less — likely.
Assuming that a more diverse Olympic team will be less competitive is lazy, ignorant and patently disrespectful to the athletes who devote their lives to represent the U.S. on the world stage. They deserve better.