Brittany Schussler in Hot Water for Selfie With Vladimir PutinBy: Erika Watts - February 18, 2014
Canada’s Brittany Schussler hasn’t won an Olympic medal yet, but if medals were given out for worst selfie, the speed skater would definitely win gold. Schussler found herself in hot water after posting a selfie with Russian president Vladimir Putin to her Twitter page. Putin has been the center of much controversy after defending his country’s new anti-gay law. The 28-year-old speed skater has since deleted the picture from Twitter and said that she never intended to offend anyone with the selfie.
Schussler took the photo with Putin while the Russian president visited Canada House in Olympic Park on Friday. The skater uploaded the photo to Twitter with the caption, “I should have asked him to be my valentine!” The photo immediately received a lot of backlash, with many people criticizing Schussler for seemingly aligning herself with the anti-gay proponent.
Check out the offending photo below.
After receiving a lot of hateful messages, Schussler removed the photo and has since posted a couple of tweets saying she never meant to offend anyone with the photo.
While many people have blasted Schussler for posting the photo with Putin, a few have come to her defense. Elvis Stojko, a Canadian figure skater and two-time Olympic silver medalist, told the Winnipeg Free Press that he didn’t believe people were right to rake Schussler over the coals for the photo.
“It’s up to the discretion of the individual athlete to decide how they want to go about it. In this particular situation, just because you pose with someone doesn’t mean you agree with what they’re doing. He was invited into Canada House and he was there to invite us into his country,” Stojko said.
“Out of respect for him, and he runs the country, they’re being respectful to him. They’re following etiquette,” Stojko continued. “There’s a forum to speak your mind on certain issues. They can speak their mind, but this isn’t really the place for it. This is about the Olympics and bringing everyone together and promoting harmony and peace. That’s the whole point. The opening ceremonies were all about harmony and peace. We want to try and show the positives. The biggest thing, you can’t fix hate with hate.”
Do you think Brittany Schussler is deserving of all the backlash she is receiving for her selfie with Putin? Add your comments below.
Image via Twitter