The recent release of “I, Tonya,” a biopic chronicling the life and now-disgraced figure skating career of Tonya Harding, has drummed up discussion about Harding’s legacy – a legacy you’re likely familiar with.
Harding was at the center of one of the most infamous incidents in Olympic history. A month before the 1994 Winter Games in Norway, her main rival, Nancy Kerrigan, was attacked by a man who had been hired by Harding’s ex-husband and her bodyguard.
Harding’s role in and knowledge of the attack have long been subjects of controversy. She was banned for life by U.S. Figure Skating, which concluded Harding knew about the plot.
She feels she’s never been able to adequately tell her side of the story. That, in a way, is what “I, Tonya” tries to do. And in the minds of some – including former Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir – it misses the mark.
Harding attended the Golden Globes last weekend, and was acknowledged by Allison Janney – who played Harding’s mother in the film – during her speech after winning the award for best supporting actress.
Weir took exception to the shout-out, and the general reception of the film, which he called the “glamorization of a villain.”
I am so over the glamorization of a villain simply because she was born on the “wrong side of the tracks.” While her upbringing may have been tragic, athletes come from all walks of life and succeed based on merit, not assault. I won’t applaud her and I stand for Nancy.
— Johnny Weir (@JohnnyGWeir) January 10, 2018
Weir’s “wrong side of the tracks” comment refers to the film’s portrayal of Harding’s rough childhood. She was raised by an abusive mother. Weir is essentially saying that doesn’t excuse her.
Weir sent out the tweet after being interviewed by a TMZ reporter at an airport. The reporter also asked Weir about Harding.
“She did a horrible, horrible thing,” Weir said. “So she’s a pariah in our sport, and she shouldn’t be forgiven for basically, possibly, having the opportunity of ruining somebody’s life.”
In response to the suggestion that Hollywood seemed to be forgiving her, Weir said: “Unless you’re a skater or an athlete, you can’t really understand.”
More from Yahoo Sports:
• Bills GM admits alleged Incognito exchange occurred
• Favre: I want my grandkids playing ‘safer’ sports
• Celtics star: Trump has made racism ‘acceptable’ again
• Dan Wetzel: The difficult discussion Lonzo must have with LaVar