USA Hockey ‘Support Our Troops’ Helmets Violate Olympic Spirit
The goalies for the U.S. Olympic hockey team have been told to remove slogans on their facemasks.
U.S. netminder Jonathan Quick will be ordered to remove the slogan ‘Support Our Troops’ from his helmet for contravening Olympic rules on political propaganda, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) said on Monday. Netminder Ryan Miller, Quick’s team mate, has also been told to remove the slogan ‘Miller Time’ from his helmet while the third American netminder Tim Thomas had already placed a sticker over a slogan on his mask during training on Monday.
“We will inform the American team and their equipment managers that this is a violation of IOC rules,” IIHF spokesman Szymon Szemberg told Reuters. “According to IOC rule 51, no political propaganda or advertisements are allowed on equipment. “It the players don’t agree with the interpretation they can ask the USOC (United States Olympic Committee) to petition the IOC.”
While IOC rules are clear, the IIHF was not so certain whether the slogan on Quick’s helmet was political propaganda or simply offering moral support. “If we go too hard on that we could be seen as insensitive,” said Szemberg.
Too late! Neptunus Lex is calling them “eejits,” along with the TSA bureaucrats who tried to force a 4-year-old boy to remove his leg braces to get through security.
But, actually,the IOC is right on this one. (Although I’d concur with Lex on the TSA boneheads.) Yes, a tradition has arisen in recent years allowing hockey goalies to personalize their helmets. But political and religious symbols are begging for trouble. I’m in rare agreement, then, with Alan Colmes who observes,
If you think this is patriotic because our troops are believed to be standing up for our Constitution and way of life, including the right to free speech, then you’d also have to support signage that says the opposite of that. Would it be okay to say, “Don’t support our troops”? How about, “Bring the troops home, now!”?
It’s better to simply declare that Olympic uniforms are expression-free zones than to open the floodgates. Ditto the Tim Tebows of the world and their Bible verse eyeblack patches.
There’s a reason these things are called “uniforms.” When you’re suited up, you’re representing your country, your university, or whathaveyou. If there’s going to be, say, a tribute to a departed teammate, put it on all the unies or none of them. And leave the political and religious sloganeering for your off time.