Fox News executive editor John Moody has a lot to say about Team USA athletes — but none of it is all about their athletic achievements.
In an editorial published just ahead of Friday’s opening ceremony, Moody expressed his concern that the “darker, gayer” athletes representing the United States at the 2018 Olympic Games would cost the team medals, and asserted — without any evidence — that some athletes may have been given a spot on Team USA because of their skin color or sexual orientation, rather than their performance.
From that point, Moody’s editorial devolved to a hyperbolic rant about — what else — political correctness, which the Fox News executive cited as the reason behind Team USA’s varied membership.
“Insisting that sports bow to political correctness by assigning teams quotas for race, religion or sexuality is like saying that professional basketball goals will be worth four points if achieved by a minority in that sport – white guys, for instance – instead of the two or three points awarded to black players, who make up 81 percent of the NBA. Any plans to fix that disparity? Didn’t think so,” Moody huffed.
No one is insisting that, though. There are no “quotas” or selection criteria based on race, religion or sexual orientation used in the determination of who is qualified for membership on any of the U.S. Olympic teams. The closest thing to a “quota” in Olympic team membership is Principle 6 — the Olympic Charter’s nondiscrimination clause.
However, Moody was more interested in stoking the flames of this right-wing outrage machine compared to acknowledging those pesky facts. Continuing his tirade, Moody proceeded to attribute non-existent complaints about political correctness for ruining the aggressive nature of sports.
“Complaining that every team isn’t a rainbow of political correctness defeats the purpose of sports, which is competition,” he wrote. “At the Olympic level, not everyone is a winner. Not everyone gets a little plastic trophy to take home.”
This year’s winter team includes more African-American and Asian-American athletes than any previous U.S. winter team, as well as the first two openly gay male athletes to represent the U.S. in the winter games. While the team is the most diverse ever, the composition of the team is still overwhelmingly white and heterosexual. Out of 243 athletes, 10 are black, 10 are Asian, and the rest are “predominantly white,” according to the Washington Post.
And regardless of what Moody alleges, there’s absolutely no reason to imply that the increased diversity of the 2018 team comes at the expense of competitiveness.
However, Moody — who was reportedly handpicked by former Fox News chief Roger Ailes — understands what sells. For the Fox News crowd, outrage is cash in the bank — and Moody has revealed his readiness to chase that paycheck where it takes him even though it means taking jabs at American athletes on the eve of the Olympic Games.