Unlike every other Olympics in history, the 2018 Winter Olympics has set a foul new tone that we hope doesn’t carry on through future competitions. The ratings of the games suffering because of it, as Americans are sick of athletes inserting divisive messages where they don’t belong. However, now, Olympians are being punished too for all the wrong reasons, proving that politics mixed into sports are here to stay. What won’t be around for long, are the spectators who are about to boycott bigger than they did with the NFL.
The US Olympic Committee already proved that what’s most important isn’t athlete’s ability, it’s diversity. They don’t like that there’s a disproportionate amount of white Olympians, to those of different races and sexual orientations. They’ve even compiled a list of qualifications for winning medals, which showed that Golds should be handed out in an affirmative action style, rather than on actually being the best in your sport if you’re white. While it seemed like the Olympics couldn’t have gotten further off track from the point of the competition being about unity and rewarding excellence, the International Olympic Committee just made it worse with what they ordered two white athletes on Team USA to do.
The US Hockey team has come under scrutiny before by the US Olympic Committee who said that there were too many white players on the team and needed to make it more diverse. However, now’s it’s what’s on the female goalie’s helmets that has landed them in hot water for being too American. In a time when a lot of athletes on Team USA are being anti-American and against our administration, it’s nice to see players being patriotic and proud to represent our country. The committee doesn’t see it that way.
USA Today reports:
USA Hockey is working with the IOC to see whether goalies Nicole Hensley and Alex Rigsby really will have to remove the Statue of Liberty from their goalkeepers masks.
USA Hockey spokesman Dave Fischer said on Tuesday “discussions are ongoing” after the IOC said earlier the images would have to be removed.
The IOC views the image as a possible violation of its policy against political symbols. The rule from the IOC Guidelines Regarding Authorized Identifications: No item may feature the wording or lyrics from national anthems, motivational words, public/political messaging or slogans related to national identity.
Hensley’s Statue of Liberty image is on the left side of her mask, and Rigsby’s is on her chin. Neither goalie played in USA’s opening 3-1 win against Finland. Maddie Rooney was the starter.
What is possibly “too political” about a patriotic symbol? The Olympics are supposed to be a place of pride for each athlete’s individual country and there’s nothing divisive about the Statue of Liberty, in fact, it represents the first sight seen be many immigrants who came to America to pursue freedom and achieve their dream – just like the Olympics. What is actually “too political” is the from the Olympic committees to ensure diversity among the athletes and not their actual ability, while putting a priority on fairness and equality. This isn’t just a decision the US Committee made on their own, they are forced by outside government to do so.
“The USOC and the governing bodies for each sport are required by law to submit a report to lawmakers every four years detailing the participation of minorities, as well as women and disabled individuals,” IJReview reported. “Additionally, the USOC requires the governing bodies to fill out an annual ‘diversity scorecard,’ as Maese describes it.”
“We wanted to see what that diversity looks like, how we could measure it, track it,” Thompson said. “That has had an incredible impact. I think it means we’re being transparent with our fans, so people can see, No. 1, it’s a priority, and, No. 2, we’re being honest about it. In some areas, we got some work to do.”
Ultimately, the IOC decided to allow the goalies keep the image of Lady Liberty on their helmets, but that doesn’t change the fact that it came under criticism in the first place. Furthermore, why was this image brought under question while all other patriotic and possibly political imagery present on all other athletes at the game not? If the Statue of Liberty was called into question for the reasons stated, then all other anthems and flags from around the world on uniforms should have been a problem for the IOC too. The real issue is that committee clearly sees America as an issue. Some of our athletes such as anti-Trump/Pence figure skater Adam Rippon, racist speedskater Shani Davis, and Trump-hating downhill skier Lindsey Vonn, have not helped in proving otherwise – they only perpetuate the problem.