An update to the story of Matthew Mitcham, the only openly gay male competitor in Beijing and the first openly gay athlete to win a gold medal in the Olympics. Michael Jensen at After Elton asked NBC Sports why the Australian diver's award ceremony and story were not compelling enough for the telecast. Answer: We don't cover everything and "in virtually every case, we don’t discuss an athlete’s sexual orientation." It's quite an amusing spin.
When asked why at no point during the coverage did NBC mention Mitcham was gay or that his partner was in the stands, Hughes said, "In virtually every case, we don’t discuss an athlete’s sexual orientation."
When it was pointed out that in fact the network does exactly that by telling viewers about Olympic athletes’ various spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends, and even in one case a heterosexual "love triangle" Hughes responded, "Not in every case. Not every athlete has a personal discussion. I could show you 500 athletes we didn't show. We don't show everyone. We don’t show every ceremony."
Speaking a television news producer, absolutely, time and editorial constraints prevent discussion of every personal story. But c'mon. We don’t discuss an athlete’s sexual orientation. Each time the network discusses an athlete's girlfriend, boyfriend, love triangle, husband or wife, they are implicitly discussing the athlete's sexual orientation. Silly, silly "news" executives.
NBC on Mitcham’s Stunning Olympic Upset [After Elton]
Some Background ....
NBC "News" Ignores Sexuality of Gay Gold Medalist [R20]