Olympics on TV: NBC’s Tirico slammed for addressing skater’s sexuality

Take Our PollSo far, Mike Tirico has done a commendable job in his first stint as NBC’s prime-time Olympics host. The man who had the torch passed to him from veteran Bob Costas has come across as relaxed, personable, highly prepared and informative.

He seems like the kind of guy you want to have a beer with.

Still, some viewers became angered Sunday night when Tirico ended a lively and entertaining interview with American figure skater Adam Rippon by raising the subject of his sexuality and his conflict with Vice President Mike Pence. Rippon, who is openly gay, has criticized Pence for his opposition to gay rights and long-rumored support of conversion therapy.

@NBCSports shame on Mike Tirico and NBC for bringing up Adam Rippon’s sexuality. I don’t care who’s gay and I don’t want to hear about who’s gay and I especially don’t want to hear some gay person attack our vice president at the Olympics.

— James Abens (@LimpingMiracle) February 12, 2018

@miketirico @NBCOlympics Ok, you asked Adam Rippon about his sexuality and Mike Pence so no need to do it again.
It has nothing to do with skating so drop it.
This is about the world coming together without politics.
It goes for our country as well.#WinterOlympics2018

— Dirk (@DirkZ1) February 12, 2018

This time, the critics on social media had it wrong. The rift with Pence has been in the news and therefore is fair game. Rippon even told USA Today that he would prefer not to meet Pence at the informal gathering of American athletes and the official delegation held before the Games.

Rippon’s sexuality is also fair game, because the skater has publicly addressed it since 2015, and apparently his battle for acceptance is a motivating factor when it comes to his sport.

“I worked my entire life for this (Olympic) moment,” he told Tirico. “But more than that, my mom always taught me to stand up for what I believe in. And that has given my skating a greater purpose.”

Tirico’s interview with Rippon, incidentally, is one of the early highlights of NBC’s coverage. They had an easygoing rapport — a chemistry if you will — and Rippon was consistently charismatic and humorous as their conversation touched upon various subjects.

Rippon described how he and Mirai Nagasu ate away their sorrows after missing the 2014 Sochi Games by eating In-N-Out burgers together on a …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

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