Olympian Johnny Weir on Tuesday apologized for calling gay rights activists “idiots.”

“I realize that there is no excuse to hurl insults at those who oppose you, or those who think differently than you and as a believer in free will and free speech, I allowed my own fear and emotion to get the better of me and for a moment I became a hypocrite,” Weir said in his Falls Church News-Press column Johnny's World.

Weir's apology came a day after the retired figure skater verbally attacked a group of LGBT activists protesting outside a forum held at Columbia University and organized by Barnard College. Weir referred to the demonstrators as “idiots like the ones outside tonight, dumping vodka in the street” during the event's Q&A session.

The group Queer Nation picketed Weir's appearance with a banner which read “WEIR: RUSSIAN OLYMPIC CLOWN; NBC: NAIVE BLOODY COLLABORATORS.”

“We're angry at him for not telling the truth about what's going on in Russia to LGBT Russians and everybody else who dissents, who are being brutalized,” Ann Northrop of Queer Nation told Gay City News. “He is selling out millions of people to satisfy his desire not to forgo his income or status. Is this what he would have done in Germany in 1936?”

Weir, who will be joining NBC for its coverage of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, has been slow to criticize a Russian law which prohibits “gay propaganda” to minors. The openly gay Weir has previously said that “the Olympics are not the place to make a political statement.”

During an appearance on ESPN's Olbermann, Weir wore a Russian military uniform as he reiterated his opposition to a proposed boycott of the Olympics over the law.

“Before a gay man, before a white man, I am an Olympian and that's what I worked for from age 12. And a boycott would negate all of that,” he said during his appearance.

“I have been defending athlete's rights to compete in Sochi, despite Russia's anti-LGBT laws, and have publicly opposed a boycott,” Weir wrote on Tuesday. “This is an issue that is very heated for many LGBT activists who want to protect and save the Russian LGBT community, and I whole-heartedly applaud their bravery. I may not agree with all their tactics nor do I have the sense of responsibility that they have, but any selfless act is worth applause.”

“Despite many activists bravery, they also have a very pointed way of trying to make everyone around them an activist and to stand for a cause. My stance of being pro-athlete before being pro-gay has ruffled so many feathers and it becomes difficult to speak publicly because of this fight.”

“In any event, the speech finished, I left feeling awful and my only solace was in a half eaten carton of Breyers, freezer burned to death in the back of my freezer. I have put my foot in my mouth before, and I probably will many times over, but it doesn't change the fact that I stooped to fighting by slinging insults rather than being proud of my own voice and achievements and saying, my opinion matters too.”

NBC said in a written statement that it supports Weir: “We're supportive of Johnny's apology for his choice of words last night in an emotional setting. As we've previously stated, NBC will cover all newsworthy issues as they are relevant to the Games, including the LGBT law.”