Scranton-born figure skater Adam Rippon skipped a White House ceremony for winter Olympians on Friday, saying he refuses to stand “with people who discriminate against those that they perceive as different.”
Skier Lindsey Vonn and snowboarder Chloe Kim also skipped the ceremony.
Olympians from the 2018 Games have been invited to go to the White House today. I will not be going. I will not stand with people who discriminate against those that they perceive as different. In lieu of going to DC, I have donated to a few of my favorite causes 🙆🏼♂️❤️ https://t.co/qDXqswTHdF
— Adam Rippon (@Adaripp) April 27, 2018
Rippon, 28, made headlines before arriving in South Korea by announcing that he wouldn’t meet with Vice President Pence, the top-ranking U.S. official to attend the Games, due to Pence’s record on gay issues.
“If it were before my event, I would absolutely not go out of my way to meet somebody who I felt has gone out of their way to not only show that they aren’t a friend of a gay person but that they think that they’re sick,” Rippon told USA Today.
Rippon’s decision to skip the White House event comes as the Trump administration has made a number of moves to anger the LGBT community over the past year.
Actions by the Trump administration that have upset the LGBT community
- Earlier this month, the Justice Department announced a proposal that would make it harder to track crimes against LGBT people in one of the nation’s largest annual crime surveys.
- In October, the Justice Department — reversing the Obama administration’s policy — said federal civil rights law does not protect transgender people from workplace discrimination.
- In September, the administration defended a Colorado baker who had refused to make a cake for a same-sex couple.
- In July, the president vowed to bar transgender people from serving in the military.
Will Eagles players also skip the White House?
Several Eagles players also said they would not visit the White House following the team’s Super Bowl victory. The team says it is in conversation with the White House about a potential visit. A recording recently surfaced of Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie calling Trump’s time in office “one [expletive] disastrous presidency” and saying many individuals in the NFL “have no interest in supporting President Trump.”
Trump sparked criticism in the fall when he said NFL fans should boycott games because players were kneeling during the national anthem. Trump said the athletes were disrespecting the flag. The players have said they were taking a knee to protest how people of color are treated by police and the criminal justice system.