Sports News Without Access, Favor, Or Discretion

Today In Euphemizing Johnny Weir's Gayness: Chicago Tribune, ESPN, And Many More

An occasional series in which we document — and evaluate — the sports media's pained efforts to call the sexually undeclared figure skater gay without quite calling him gay.

Euphemist: Philip Hersh, Chicago Tribune
Choice descriptions: "diva persona ... avant-garde showman ... never hides his light ... 'Care Bear on acid' ... garish attire ... sparkle ... pretty in pink ... gilded egg"


Euphemist: Jim Caple, ESPN
Choice descriptions: "spandex and sequins ... twirls ... flamboyant [headline] ... as if he had hired the costume designers for Cher and Judas Priest ... wearing something Elton John would consider over-the-top ... would like to go into fashion design"

Euphemist: Nancy Armour, Canadian Press
Choice descriptions: "Colourful. Eccentric. Talented. Artistic. Quirky. Entertaining. Outrageous. ... pizazz"

Euphemist: Craig Hill, Tacoma News Tribune
Choice descriptions: "Weir's flamboyant muse [headline] ... sprightly fashionista ... flashes butt cleavage, frolics on a bed with another guy ... his foxy long program"

Euphemist: Steve Kelley, Seattle Times
Choice descriptions:: "flamboyant [headline] ... flamboyant ... gender-bending showman ... vamped ... in high heels and short skirts ... soaking in a tub with a male friend ... sparkle and spangle ... athletic showmen like Johnny Weir ... wears tassels"


Euphemist: Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times
Choice description: "flamboyant"

Euphemist: Gary D'Amato, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Choice description: "flamboyant"


Euphemist: Noelle Crombie, The Oregonian
Choice description: "unapologetically flamboyant"

Euphemist: Steve Keating, Reuters
Choice descriptions: "flamboyant Johnny Weir ... flamboyant Weir"


Euphemist: John Henderson, Denver Post
Choice description: "flamboyant reality show"

Euphemist: Vahe Gregorian, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Choice description: "flamboyant fan favorite"


Flamboyometer: Rating the euphemisms (on a scale of 1 to 5 high-stepping Liberaces)


Weir photo via

Share This Story

Get our newsletter