A goalie for the U.S. Olympic women’s hockey team has been forced to repaint her new mask by the International Olympic Committee this week.
Jessie Vetter was forced to change her mask by the IOC because she had a copy of the U.S. Constitution on the back plate. That ruling is bound to upset plenty of people.
Artist Ron Slater told InGoal Magazine the following regarding the reason for the changes:
“No writing of any kind to promote the country is allowed. (The IOC frowns upon) any sort of ‘our country is better than your country’ kind of thing. Our original idea was ‘land of the free, home of the brave,’ and that would have had to have been removed as well.”
Vetter had to scrub the Olympic rings from the chin and her last name from the back plate as well because the IOC saw that as “self promotion,” Slater said. “They want everything to be team-based.”
The rules from the IOC make sense, the Olympics are supposed to be about a sense of community and togetherness. But opponents of the ruling will argue that Vetter was just trying to proudly represent her country and its founding principles. Frankly, both arguments are valid. But the IOC makes the rules and Vetter will have to abide by them.
The rules the IOC has for this sort of thing leave a lot open to interpretation. They essentially say “no form of publicity or propaganda, commerical or otherwise my appear on persons, (or) on any article of clothing or equipment worn or used by the athletes in the Olympic Games.”
The “no propaganda” clause is what came up here. And, again, there will be many who disagree with the IOC’s decision.
Back in 2010 U.S. men’s hockey team goalies Ryan Miller and Jonathan Quick were forced to repaint their masks as well. Quick had to paint over a section that read, “Support Our Troops,” while Miller had to erase “Miller Time.”