Jessie Vetter, the goalie for the USA Women's hockey team, was ordered by the International Olympic Committee to remove a classic American constitutional reference from her mask – "We the People" – because it was deemed propaganda.
In addition to "We the People" splayed over an image of the Constitution, Ms. Vetter's custom-made mask also included images of the Statue of Liberty and a bald eagle, Fox News reported.
But IOC members saw the "We the People" phrase as "propaganda," and banned her from wearing it at the Sochi games, Ron Slater, the creator of the mask, told Fox News.
"It ruffles the wrong feathers, I guess," he said, explaining how he and Ms. Vetter wanted the mask to show "figures that scream 'America.'"
But Rob Koch, communications director for USA Hockey, denied that the ban on the mask was due to the patriotic phrase – but rather to the presence of any text at all.
"It is our understanding that this is not an issue about the patriotic nature of the image depicting the U.S. Constitution," Mr. Koch told Fox News. "The adjustment was necessary because the image did not meet IOC guidelines. It contained wording, which is not allowed on uniforms for any sports at the Olympic Games."
In the past, U.S. goalies for the men's team have been asked to remove the phrases "Miller Time" [from goalie Ryan Miller's mask] and "Support our troops" by IOC officials.
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