Outrage erupted shortly after the reveal of the official U.S. Olympic team uniforms for the opening and closing ceremonies over the fact that they were made in China. Many political groups, including the American Legion, a group of retired military personnel, have voiced their disgust at what they are calling a “disloyalty” to the United States. The American Legion mainly pointed out the problem that the american flag is not prominently displayed, and that the Ralph Lauren Polo logo is shown more distinctly. They argue that our athletes are representing the United States, and therefore the U.S. flag should be easily recognizable on their uniforms.
This organization is not the only group of people who have spoken out about their displeasure with the uniforms. Many political figures have openly called for a change to be made such as the U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) reportedly saying that the Olympic Committee should “take all the uniforms, put them in a big pile and burn them.” In response to these extravagant displays of patriotism, the Olympic Committee spokesperson Patrick Sandusky tweeted, “All this talk about olympic uniforms made in China is non sense. Polo RL is an American company that supports American athletes.” And although this statement may not have been particularly popular, it is true. The U.S. Olympic Committee is privately funded, with a large portion of that funding coming from Polo RL itself. It was just natural that the company which provided the most funds for the Committee would have a large opportunity to advertise, and being a clothing company, it makes sense that Polo RL would make the uniforms.
With outsourcing of jobs by American companies being such a significant issue in the upcoming presidential election, numerous people are worried about what the outsourcing of the uniforms says about the United States in today’s competitive and floundering economy. The bandwagon opinion seems to be that the U. S. athletes should be wearing uniforms made in the U.S. to show the quality and spirit of our country, but this idea seems to defeat the purpose of the Olympics. Although the games are a competition that pits country against country, the basic underlying idea of the games is to support and spread international relations, as China’s Xinhua News Agency so aptly pointed out in their response to the American uproar. They discussed the hypocrisy of trying to place a political tag on the uniforms. The Olympics are about the athletes that have made sacrifices for the sport that they love, not about the political agenda of any country.