Fox News pulls executive's op-ed piece ripping 'Darker, Gayer' U.S. Olympic team

Fox News executive John Moody’s op-ed column was pulled from the website on Friday. (Getty Images)

Fox News removed an op-ed column from executive John Moody entitled, “In Olympics, let’s focus on the winner of the race — not the race of the winner,” which suggested the U.S. Olympic Committee apparently “would like to change” its motto from “Faster, Higher, Stronger” to “Darker, Gayer, Different.”

Moody’s piece, according to excerpts captured by Deadspin, railed against a USOC official who recently celebrated the diversity of this year’s delegation, punctuating his point with this flabbergasting point:

“Unless it’s changed overnight, the motto of the Olympics, since 1894, has been ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger.’ It appears the U.S. Olympic Committee would like to change that to ‘Darker, Gayer, Different.'”

Moody added, “If your goal is to win medals, that won’t work,” and raged against political correctness:

“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.”

John Moody, meet straw man. Straw man, meet John Moody.

Moody, of course, missed Jason Thompson’s recent point to USA Today. The USOC director of diversity and inclusion said that, while the diversity of this year’s delegation still isn’t reflective of the U.S. population, “it is a good start when it comes to diversity. If people see themselves reflected there, it is not necessarily that they will become an athlete, they might just become a fan.” In other words, a diverse delegation encourages athletes and fans of different ethnicities to participate in the sport, creating broader interest and competition, which could in turn create a stronger U.S. Olympic team.

Or, at least that’s what I took from it. Moody, on the other hand, saw a chance to deride minorities.

“That was followed by a, frankly, embarrassing laundry list of how many African-Americans, Asians and openly gay athletes are on this year’s U.S. team,” Moody wrote, according to CNN. “No sport that we are aware of awards points — or medals — for skin color or sexual orientation.”

The U.S. Olympic team boasts a number of gay athletes, including figure skater Adam Rippon and skier Gus Kenworthy, both of whom recently criticized the White House’s selection of Vice President Mike Pence to lead the U.S. delegation at the 2018 Winter Olympics as a “strange choice,” since Pence has signed legislation allowing businesses to refuse LGBT people service. This seems relevant to Moody’s USOC criticism, given Fox News’ conservative reputation.

The column ran from Wednesday to Friday, when it was finally pulled mid-morning, according to Deadline, despite widespread criticism of the column’s contents throughout the day on Thursday:

For its part, Fox News issued the following statement on Friday: “John Moody’s column does not reflect the views or values of Fox News and has been removed.”

Of course, Moody is an executive editor and vice president of Fox News, and this was an op-ed column, so clearly it does reflect the views and values of Fox News. At least that’s what I took from it.