Bode Miller blamed a female Olympian’s poor performance on her husband

It’s go time for women’s SL! Go @mikaelashiffrin

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Because everything is awful and toxic, the Olympics have become a showcase for Men Who Are Terrible. Shaun White has been accused of sexual harassing his female bandmate, but that didn’t stop the Olympic coverage from largely whitewashing him. Johnny Weir is commentating on all of the figure skating, but few people are bringing up the fact that his ex-husband accused him of domestic abuse (Weir claimed that his ex abused him as well). And let’s not forget Bode Miller, the same douche who fought his ex for custody of their child… when she was still pregnant. Miller is a well-respected Olympian and he was hired to do commentary on men’s and women’s skiing at the PyongChang Olympics. Which is where this happened:

Champion ski racer Bode Miller has quite the hot take on why one star athlete isn’t at the top of her game. On Wednesday night, Miller was a commentator as Austrian skier, and 2014 Olympic gold medalist, Anna Veith competed in Pyeongchang. Veith tore her ACL a few years back and has not been able to achieve her pre-injury performance — a fact that Miller’s fellow commentator, NBC analyst Dan Hicks, mentioned during her event. But, while Miller agreed that her knee was “certainly an issue,” he had another opinion on what was holding Veith back.

“I want to point out she also got married,” Miller said. “And it’s historically very challenging to race on the World Cup with a family or after being married.” He then added, “Not to blame the spouses, but I just want to toss it out there that it may be her husband’s fault.”

The Twitter backlash was swift, with some people asking if Miller would have made the same observation about a male competitor’s marital status. Miller stood by his commentary on Twitter, while clarifying that “a changing of priorities” could be to blame for poor performances from married women or men.

[From The Cut]

The weird thing is that I’ve heard other men make similar “observations” about female athletes before – any number of male commentators had similar thoughts about Serena Williams and other female tennis stars, that when female athletes get married, their game or athletic drive goes downhill. It’s not just Bode Miller who thinks this – there’s an entire male industrial complex of Mansplaining Why Married Female Athletes Are Terrible. I’d also like to point out that the opposite is widely believed for male athletes: most male commentators will cite a male athlete’s marriage as one of the reasons why the athlete is more focused or doing better in their respective sports. It’s a mindset: a wife is there to support, and a husband is there to distract. Casual Bro Sexism. In any case, Bode Miller apologized and tweeted this out:

Photos courtesy of Instagram.

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52 Responses to “Bode Miller blamed a female Olympian’s poor performance on her husband”

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  1. Bridget says:

    WHY is this idiot doing commentary in the first place? He can barely put two thoughts together.

    Also, LOL at saying that on Valentine’s Day. Good luck walking that back.

    • Onerous says:

      Exactly this. I knew Bode and his family – let’s just say none of them are winning in the mental department. People too often conflate athletic prowess with mental ability. The two do not always go hand in hand.

      • winosaurusrex says:

        Case and point? Ryan Lochte.

        I adore to look at him, but dear lord, let’s just keep him silent.

      • Bridget says:

        Could you imagine Lochte providing commentary?

        Whatever the mess is with Weir, purely discussing his commentating, he’s actually great. He and Lipinski are detailed and provide a lot of insight into what makes something great and why stuff is scored the way it is.

      • IMHO says:

        @ Bridget
        I agree the commentating is spectacular, but I can’t watch the two of them without thinking they should be providing commentary on the Hunger Games.

      • LadyT says:

        Weir and Lipinski are doing a perfectly wonderful job. Really enjoying them and learning a lot.

      • Cranberry says:

        Been watching the Olympics and the skiing events. I’m no big fan of Bode, but he’s been doing fine. Not saying he’s fantastic, but he does give a lot of inside knowledge to what’s happening on the track with the skiers. Seems folks here are pulling punches based on their own personal dislike of him as opposed to his actual commentating. Too bad.

    • Truthie says:

      +1 to Cranberry. I wish that everyone could read the New Yorker article from 2004 or 2005 about Herman Maier and Bode Miller, it is called Twin Peaks. It was such a well researched insightful piece, fascinating and artistic. I want there to be room for Bode to improve because quite simply he was the best downhill skier the US has ever had and he changed the sport of downhill skiing. When he strapped on carving skis and decimated the junior Olympic trials, EVERYONE had to go out and buy carving skis or lose by a huge margin. Do I want his views of marriage and women? H*** to the no. I cringed when I heard that and I knew he was going to get it with both barrels. On those topics he may be an idiot but he’s our idiot. And he apologized, When he is talking about the sport of racing down hills incredibly freakishly fast, I really want to hear what he is saying because the depth he has gone in pursuit of CRAZY fast skiing is extraordinary. For a long time it seemed he either won races or wiped out, and he did not care one whit about the wipeouts because he was completely going for perfect speed like no one else, fast as an art form, a process, marching to his own beat. 6 world cup titles, people. Exciting to watch because you never knew wth to expect. He earned boatloads of european respect, the usual kings of alpine. Did you see where Mikaela S was training on a unicycle? Bode did that to improve his balance, no one else.

      He changed the sport and I can listen to his insights and discard the rest.

  2. marianne says:

    So for him its an asset, but for her…clearly the cause of problems?

    Get out of here. Theres plenty of married or engaged olympians (male and female) that do well.

    • Margo S. says:

      I know right? Like his wife is there to support dudes, but not the female athletes. Nope the women are just so in love and distracted by the sheer manliness of their hubbies that the sports come second. Women can’t possibly train hard enough because of their husbands presence.

      WHAT IN THE ACTUAL EFF?!?!?!?!

  3. LadyT says:

    He is not a good commentator. His voice is flat, almost bored sounding. Even worse is the content. I’d like some interesting insight into the sport, the course, the skiers, the weather- you know-commentary. Severely lacking.

    • Bridget says:

      Bode Miller has always been pretty dim. It’s classic NBC that they tapped him for commentary – they have terrible personnel instincts. Why they thought this guy was great for a job that involved both talking and thinking is just beyond me.

      • LadyT says:

        Agreed. Yes, I’ve heard of his name. But after 5 minutes of listening I’d much prefer a no-name with an actual personality.

    • buckley says:

      Agree so much, and he wont shut up! He uses so many words to say nothing.

    • Cranberry says:

      I agree that his voice is kind of flat and that he doesn’t speak as dynamically as many professional commentators. But he’s not so bad overall. You can still hear him clearly and he does give some insight as to what’s happening on the slopes technically and with the athletes. It’s just his low-kew style, but I’m fine with it. It doesn’t bother me. Generally viewers take more of an interest if the commentators are recognizable big names. So it’s understandable why NBC would go with Bode. I give him a passing grade as skiing commentator.

  4. littlemissnaughty says:

    I used to love the Olympics. And then I grew up. Between the corruption, doping and the racism, the sexism and abuse … I’m out.

  5. Feedmechips says:

    Bode Miller is a douche.

    • Mumzy says:

      That will be the new, “cool brand” for douching products…to remove the stigma of douching for the younger generations it’ll be promoted as not your mom’s gross old basic stuff. A BPA-free bottle of new, air-only douching is here! It’s not a douche, it’s Free Range Freshness. It’s the Bode Miller.

      “Hey, Khendhall, I’m gonna be late for Coachella cause I gotta do my Bode Miller before I get there!”

      Of course the bottle will not be bpa-free but laden with toxic chemicals and filled with LA traffic air because the all-male executives of the company will decide that women won’t know the difference and it doesn’t matter anyway!

      Trump can tweet about how he has brought a massive new factory and billions of jobs to America by creating the actual concept of the douche and how things have never been better for women’s healthcare cause nobody loves a vagina like Trump! But then he will follow with a thumbs down slam cause it should’ve been called the Trump.

    • Still_Sarah says:

      Isn’t he the guy who had his wife and his uh “girlfriend” pregnant at the same time? Bet that was a distraction!

  6. MI6 says:

    I heard this last night and I was like “….whaaat?”
    Dead, awkward silence from the other commentator.

  7. winosaurusrex says:

    OMG now I want Lochte to commentate. ANYTHING. my god drinking games abound!

    But seriously, NBC taps the worst commentators. My husband and I won’t watch any coverage that MSN hosts because we can’t stand the commentating.

    Plus watching it streaming on various sites means i get to watch what i want to watch, not just what MSN THINKS I want to watch.

    :EDIT this was meant in response to Bridget. I have no idea how it ended up down here…….

    • Mumzy says:

      I want to watch Leslie Jones commenting on Ryan Lochte commenting! I wouldn’t miss a minute!!

      (After three posts on a stupid Bode Miller article I really need to move on to something else. My shame bell is ringing….but seriously

      LESLIE & RYAN….let the fun begin!

  8. Tanya says:

    To be fair, I absolutely do know women whose careers were derailed by their husbands. Not because women can’t have families and excel, but because their husbands were undermining, controlling, or abusive.

    • SilverUnicorn says:

      Yep, I heard many of these instances too and not just in an abusive marriage.
      For many men, the fact a woman needs to train/work/travel all time for a job is against their mindset and what constitutes ‘a marriage’.

      I even argued a few times with my husband… He is usually supportive of me but any time I was going to apply for a job that was meant to take me away for 3-6 months at a time, hell would break loose. Needless to say, I didn’t apply for any of those job opportunities.

  9. deets says:

    It’s really illuminating what they view as being a woman’s role versus mans role.

    In many men’s minds, hockey for ex does this A LOT, being a young dude partying and looking for the next hot strange is the expected norm. So settling down means a wife who takes care of him and tells him to go to bed, a good girl. Wives ‘get’ to be holders of the no fun baton cudgelling everyone so shit gets done.

    Conversely, female athletes are still expected to housewife, so they’d be distracted. Since they definitely weren’t partying and looking for strange dick before, because that’s not ladylike. So this is splitting their attention, not streamlining it.

  10. Tiffany says:

    Wow, this dude makes Ryan Lochte seem like a Rhodes Scholar doesn’t he?

    • Mumzy says:

      Tiffany, I imagined Ryan reading your comment and saying, “Yah, Tiff, dude! I am a road scholar cause I drive ona lots of roads and I try to read lots of sines but I go so fast it’s really hard and I almost got whiplash and knew that’d be, like, rhhhhheeeeaaaly bad for my abs. So yeah, um. But ya know I am a, like, a big time road scholar for tryn to read so much on the roads! Thanks for noticing. You’re like, a noticing scholar for noticing my scholarness!”

  11. Chef Grace says:

    Two words for Bode Miller; Duck Tape.
    Well, polite words, not the ones I used last night.

  12. noway says:

    The female reaction to this is funny. Cause you are all wrong this has been said about male athletes forever. Jessica Simpson was supposedly the reason Tony Romo the QB for the Cowboys started to suck. Alex Rodriguez slump was because of Madonna or Cameron Diaz. NY Yankees fans didn’t even want Madonna at a game. Even with all her husband’s success Giselle Bunchen has been blamed many times when Tom Brady had a slump. Those are just recent ones. There is this whole thing about male athletes aren’t supposed to have sex anytime before a game. That kind of makes a marriage hard as there is 180+ games in baseball. Women are usually the ones blamed for all these men’s slumps, and now he is out right blaming the man and people don’t even see the irony. It was dumb when it was the woman were blamed and dumb for the men, but to say this is how only women athletes have been perceived is just wrong. Talk about seeing life from only your view. Funny I saw the headline and thought good finally someone is making the idiotic argument to the other side.

    • Crimson says:

      I definitely see your point. Your observation is correct.

    • JS says:

      @NOWAY I completely agree with you. When I heard Bode say that during Olympic coverage I turned to my husband and (jokingly) said “He’s right! You mans are always holding us back!” because I always heard it from the other side, where girlfriends/wives hold back male athletes and are to blame for slumps and poor performance and thought it was such a sexist thing to say. Then I came on here and read this and the comments and thought hmmm that’s def not how I took it. 🤷🏻‍♀️ If anything Bode’s statement is not misogynistic at all, but the exact opposite…

    • magnoliarose says:

      I have to think about that.
      I was thinking more that it has to do when a woman has a baby, her body changes and it takes more time to get back into pre baby athletic shape.

      But you gave me another POV to consider.

    • Psu Doh Nihm says:

      I’m late to the game today on CB, so you beat me to it!

      That’s exactly what I was going to say.

  13. Boxy Lady says:

    So he’s basically saying, in general, that men ruin/hold back/sabotage the careers of the women they marry?

    Well that is definitely not the most misogynistic thing I have heard. To me, it’s actually nice to hear a man acknowledge that that sort of thing happens.

    • Bethany F says:

      i feel like he is more saying that women are best at just supporting ambitious men and it shouldn’t be the other way around.

      • Boxy Lady says:

        I understand where you’re coming from but I personally didn’t see it that way. Especially since he used the words “her husband’s fault.”

      • Cranberry says:

        @Boxy Lady

        +1

        Didn’t see it the way it’s being slated here.

  14. Bethany F says:

    Bode miller will forever be a piece of shit for how he and his wife treated his first son’s mother. i had to change the channel once i realized he was one of the commentators. shame on NBC for hiring him

  15. Lexilla says:

    He is another example of how a white dude will get chance after chance even after proving himself mediocre at best. Remember how hyped he was as an athlete and then he bombed because he was partying too hard? He’s the athletic equivalent of the white male directors who keep getting blockbuster movies even after they bomb.

  16. mela says:

    I followed the Bode Miller saga with his second baby mama. He is a total pig and so is his CRAZY wife.

    Any update on that love triangle?!

  17. j says:

    Is the commentating TERRIBLE this year or is it just me? I’m watching CBC and they don’t explain the scoring and they keep repeating the same few observations for every athlete…it’s a mess. Not to mention the latent sexism/racism. They’re clearly not prepared and haven’t done any research. BIGLY DISAPPOINTING.

  18. Abby says:

    I just came over to comment about Johnny Weir. That interview is so sad and I don’t feel like it’s in the same vein as White and this dude. It sounds more like defense against spousal rape… from his side.

    Or maybe that’s my wishful thinking because Johnny and Tara are the best thing about the Olympics, other than the actual competition.

  19. jetlagged says:

    Pffttt – who cares about Bode whatshisface, when my bae, Aksel Lund Svindal, just became the oldest man (at the ripe old age of 35) to win a gold medal in Men’s Downhill.

  20. Izzy says:

    What a tool

  21. Deanna says:

    Re Johnny Weir. Yes he was defending himself from spousal. The husband had been roughing him up for some time prior to the final incident. Johnny bit his thumb in order to get the dude off him.

    Bose Miller got fired.

  22. Twinsie says:

    He’s such an asshole. The way he treated the mother of his child was beyond disgusting. I can’t.