NBC Snubs More Than Mitcham’s Sexuality 

 Apology to openly gay gold medalist too little, too late.

BY Eric Shaw Quinn

August 28 2008 12:00 AM ET

It’s not
just that NBC didn’t mention gold medalist Matthew
Mitcham’s sexual orientation; it’s that
they didn’t mention him at all.

The
network's obvious, unmistakable and inexcusable snub of
gay medalist Mitcham during its exhaustive coverage of
the Beijing Olympics offers us insight into how black
athlete Jesse Owens must have felt at the Nazi
sponsored games in 1936. I’m not a sport enthusiast,
but I was there in front of the set to watch the
Australian 20-year-old compete for a place on the
podium behind the unstoppable Chinese men’s platform
divers. Then a miracle happened. The top Chinese diver
turned in a mediocre dive and Mitcham performed the
best and highest-scoring dive of the entire
competition to win the gold. Alone in my own living room, I
stood up and cheered.

NBC quickly left
the water cube, never to return. And I waited. The
network never showed the medal ceremony, where Matthew
kissed his boyfriend, Lachlan. Its
commentators never mentioned that that the brave
young man had come out only a couple of months earlier and
raised the money to bring his boyfriend along to the
games. They never mentioned that Matthew was gay. They
never showed Lachlan in the stands supporting him. In
fact, other than to acknowledge that there had been
men’s platform diving at the games, they never
mentioned him again.  

Tags: Sports

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