The Olympics is a corporate advertising event of gargantuan proportions, but participation is restricted to the Olympics Committee, broadcast network and advertisers.
The players can take no part in either advertising or “propaganda,” as the IOC calls it — as some US hockey players are finding out:
Trouble is brewing over United States ice hockey goalie Jonathan Quick and the â€œSupport Our Troopsâ€ slogan on his helmet. Slogans of this sort are banned under Olympic rules and Quick will be told to remove it, the International Ice Hockey Federation has told Reuters.
Ryan Miller has also been told to remove the slogan â€œMiller Timeâ€ from his helmet while the third American netminder Tim Thomas had already placed a sticker over a slogan on his mask for the Vancouver Winter Olympics.
IOC rules forbid political propoganda or advertisements being placed on equipment. â€œIf the players donâ€™t agree with the interpretation they can ask the USOC (United States Olympic Committee) to petition the IOC.â€
Miller said he had agreed to remove â€œMiller Timeâ€, which is also a popular beer company slogan, but might fight to keep â€œMatt Manâ€, a tribute to a dead friend from being taken off his helmet.
“Your petition to the IOC will be processed just as soon as the Olympics are over.”
It seems like the IOC would want a stronger “support our troops” message — without troops there wouldn’t have been anybody to stop the madman who they chose to host the 1936 Summer Olympics.
You know who this will upset? Sean Penn. He told Larry King that he too supports the troops — well, as long as they’re not fighting anybody.
Update: According to Ace of Spades, the IOC has said nothing of having Ryan Miller remove this piece of American symbolism on the side of his helmet: