Just a week after he was named chef de mission of the U.S. Olympic Team for 2012, Peter Vidmar has resigned because of objections to his beliefs—specifically his opposition to same-sex marriage. Vidmar, an LDS Church member and a member of the gold-medal winning 1984 U.S. Olympic gymnastics team. He is also the highest scoring gymnast in Olympic history. But in 2008 Vidmar publicly campaigned for Proposition 8 in California.
As one who has turned into something of Boozer-apologist this past year in the face of attacks on him by some disgruntled Jazz fans, I was buoyed to see an account of a recent Boozer interview yesterday in the Deseret News. When the Miami-area sports station host interviewing Boozer called Utah “gorgeous” but “a horrible place to live, horrible,” Boozer said: “Nah, it’s not that bad. You know, I’m raising my kids out there. It’s pretty nice. We have a good time out there with our basketball team, successful of course. That’s the frontcourt of it, the most important thing of it. And it’s a great place to raise your kids. And it is beautiful.” The host kept at it though, asking: “But those Mormon people are crazy, aren’t they? I mean, the Mor…” At which point Boozer, cut in saying: “Nah, they’re not bad at all. They’re not bad at all. Yeah. Not bad at all.” Here’s hoping Utah is able to keep him (and draft a decent center)… or next season could be a painful one for Jazz fans.
Some years ago I had the idea that Mormonism needs an “anti-defamation league”–a group that reviews news coverage and other public actions and publicly condemns those actions that clearly defame Mormons and Mormonism. But I’ve since decided that this is probably not a very workable idea.