“We The People” is American Propaganda? IOC Orders US Women’s Hockey Goalie to Repaint Mask

“We The People” is American Propaganda? IOC Orders US Women’s Hockey Goalie to Repaint Mask

Jessie Vetter, goalie for the United States women’s hockey team, came up with a fun and patriotic idea for her goalie mask.  She and mask artist Ron Slater were designing the art for the mask when she suggested that they use an image of the Constitution, with the words “We The People” standing out.

But then the International Olympic Committee told them to change it.  Because Rule 51.3 of the Olympic Charter states that the Games are not to be platforms for “political propaganda” by athletes.  And apparently, putting up the governing document of your country in an artistic representation on a goalie mask is too much “propaganda” for the IOC.

Vetter's original mask design.
Vetter’s original mask design

Not only did the Constitution have to come off, but so did Vetter’s name.  Letters are also, apparently, VERY distracting.  According to another rule, there is supposed to be no wording at all on athlete’s uniforms (other than country name), including their own name.  This rule has been enforced before, when goalie Jonathan Quick had to remove “support our troops” from his goalie mask during the 2010 Winter Games.

However, the IOC has yet to do anything about the Slovakian Olympic jerseys, which have the national anthem of Slovakia written all over them – albeit in teeny tiny letters that look like stripes on the fabric.  Still… LETTERS!  PROPAGANDA!  BAD!  Right?

The IOC is a group that perpetually has its panties in a bunch.  This is the same group that gets upset whenever they see the word “Olympic” anywhere except on their letterheads, because, as they say, they trademarked the name.  They haven’t won friends as they go around suing businesses to change their names.  And recently, the United States Olympic Committee invited several U.S. cities to pitch for the chance to host a future Games – including my hometown of Seattle.  The IOC is silent (right now, anyway) on whether or not we would have to change the state capital’s name of Olympia, or rename the Olympic Mountain Range, in order to have a shot at hosting the Games.

Maybe so long as we hide the Constitution, we’ll be okay.

In fairness, Vetter did get to keep other distinctly American symbols on her goalie mask, including the Statue of Liberty and a bald eagle.  But the whole “propaganda” issue is even sillier when you realize that the picture of the Constitution was on the BACK of her goalie mask.

I’m getting that same old feeling again… the one that says, “America loves a winner, but the IOC doesn’t like it when we win so much.”

We here at Victory Girls will be doing some coverage of the Sochi Games, and supporting our teams and athletes all the way.  GO USA!

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