Team USA responds to their victory over the USSR
Posted in hockey, personal
February 25, 2020

Team USA Responds, Missing the Point

After the 1980 US Hockey Team was criticized for appearing at the Donald Trump rally in Las Vegas, the team doubled down with their explanation that they were standing there for America. Blah Blah Blah.

People were still livid, and now they’ve given more interviews to try to fix the situation.

This still misses what Americans were upset about. It wasn’t the MAGA hats – though that was definitely the final kick in the nuts. It was that they attended a campaign rally and somehow equated it with a visit to the White House.

Of the guys who didn’t wear the hats, one didn’t support Trump. One didn’t explicitly dislike Trump, but three of his sisters do – so he didn’t want to tick them off.

Not about the hats

This is completely missing the point. The MAGA hats are so reviled because they’re a visual indicator that someone supports everything vile about Donald Trump. The detention camps at the border. Rolling back LGBT protections. Changing the definition of sexual assault. Gutting science programs and education rosters. Stealing from middle class America in order to make corporations even bigger. Buying into propaganda that if someone disagrees with Trump, then they’re lying. Forcing the country to pay $100+ million for his golf trips (between the trips themselves and the cost of security)

Trump has been shifting the government from a democracy to something authoritarian. He’s tried to speak multiple times about terms beyond a second term. Changing the law so he could stay.

That is why Americans are upset. Trump stands for all the same ugly things we felt about the USSR back in the 80s. That they were an oppressive military regime.

Team USA celebrates after the victory over the USSR
The 1980 US Men’s Hockey team, celebrating after their win against the USSR.

It isn’t because they put on a hat. It’s because these men were so desperate for another 15 minutes of fame, that they stood on a campaign stage and endorsed a man who stands for everything they supposedly stood against.

(If you haven’t seen the 30 for 30 documentary “Of Miracles and Men” about the Miracle on Ice from the Soviet perspective? I highly recommend it. I watched it on Sunday and it was really good.)

What could they have done?

The easiest solution would have been to do a tour of NHL games in US cities. It’s their audience, it gets TV airplay.

They could have told the President no, they couldn’t go to his campaign event, but they would be honored to visit him at another time at the White House.

And mostly, when the criticism started – they could have stopped digging and listened to why people were hurt. Because it wasn’t just the hat.

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