that explains the controversy in some detail and includes some angry words from U.S. politicians.
US Olympic Committee sponsor Ralph Lauren made the duds, and they apparently sport "Made in China" tags.
Now I understand outsourcing and I certainly am not a "Made in America" zealot, as I drive a Honda.
But seriously? The American Olympic team's uniforms weren't made in the USA?
Somebody at the USOC and at Ralph Lauren had to be really tone deaf not to think this was going to come back and bite them.
A USOC spokesman called the controversy "nonsense" on Twitter. I don't agree. My Dad worked for an American textile company for 24 years. So much of that work has been shipped overseas now, and the entire industry is struggling.
This was an unintentional slap in the face to the American textile industry, I imagine, but it's a slap in the face nonetheless. (Parts of the U.S. athletes' outfits have been manufactured out of the country before -- I remember in 2002 when the U.S. Winter Olympic team sported berets made by Roots, a Canadian company, and that was the hot item in all the souvenir stands).
As a gesture of courtesy, Ralph Lauren should offer to have the uniforms remade in the USA. At the very least, the company should make amends by adding something to the uniform that was very obviously made in the U.S.
The Chinese are likely to be America's biggest competition in the overall medal count at these Olympics. I covered the Olympics in Beijing in 2008, and that was a fantastic experience. It showed me in person how serious the Chinese are about sports.
The Chinese are a major international athletic force, and they will be trying to undress American athletes on the world stage.
They really don't need to be dressing us, too.
6 months ago