The IOC Threw A Fit Over The Statue Of Liberty On USA Goalie Masks

GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 13: A detailed view of the mask of Nicole Hensley #29 of the United States during the Women's Ice Hockey Preliminary Round - Group A game against Olympic Athletes from Russia on day four of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Kwandong Hockey Centre on February 13, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Hannah Bleau

The International Olympic Committee has decided that the Statue of Liberty can stay on Team USA goalie masks. Oh, you didn’t know that was a controversy? Join the club.

Apparently, the IOC told the U.S. women’s hockey team that Nicole Hensley’s and Alex Rigsby’s mask– both masks feature the Statue of Liberty– may be in violation of its policy. Yeah– the IOC has a policy against “political symbols.” I mean, we can’t have a symbol of FREEDOM all up on a goalie’s mask. WTH is wrong with you?

The IOC views the image as a possible violation of its policy against political symbols. The rule from the IOC Guidelines Regarding Authorized Identifications: No item may feature the wording or lyrics from national anthems, motivational words, public/political messaging or slogans related to national identity.

Hensley’s Statue of Liberty image is on the left side of her mask, and Rigsby’s is on her chin. Neither goalie played in USA’s opening 3-1 win against Finland. Maddie Rooney was the starter.

Well good news. The IOC decided the State of Liberty can stay. How generous of them.

The International Olympic Committee decided on Wednesday that the Statue of Liberty image on the masks of American goalies Nicole Hensley and Alex Rigsby doesn’t violate its ban of political symbols on masks.

The official rule states that “no item may feature the wording or lyrics from national anthems, motivational words, public/political messaging or slogans related to national identity.”

Rigsby’s helmet — which she has only worn twice — is covered in American symbolism: a USA crest on the top, a drawing of the famous V-J Day kiss on one side, a bald eagle on the other side, and a stamp depicting the Statue of Liberty right on the chin which juts out when shooters take aim.

It’s a darn good thing that the IOC made this determination, because then it’d be force to confront other SUPER controversial political symbols, like the American flag! That’s how dumb this is. Aren’t all flags and national anthems political symbols to some degree?

I really like how Dan Wolken, writing for USA Today Sports, put it. I don’t agree with his entire article, but he was right on the money on this particular part.

We’re not talking about MAGA hats. Nobody is putting a #ReleaseTheMemo hashtag on their uniform. No images of war or conquest, no advocacy for a particular group’s rights or any sort of suggestion that America is better than any other country here. Just a symbol that is as closely associated with our country as Russia’s double-headed eagle or France’s rooster.

Exactly. Cool it, IOC.