Ralph Lauren Draws Criticism From Lawmakers Over Team USA Uniforms Made In China
A controversy is brewing around the fact the uniforms Team USA will wear in the London Games Opening Ceremony are being made in China, and several politicians Thursday "jumped into the fashion fray,” according to Moore & Brady of USA TODAY. The pols criticized the USOC "for approving the uniforms” designed by Ralph Lauren. U.S. Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said the USOC should be "ashamed" that the blue blazers, white pants and berets that American athletes will wear are manufactured in China. Reid: "They should take all the uniforms, put them in a big pile and burn them." Other lawmakers also “were critical of the apparel.” Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) said of USOC officials, "You'd think they'd know better." But U.S. men’s volleyball player Todd Rogers said, "I would say there are much bigger issues to worry about than where Ralph Lauren has the opening ceremonies clothes made" (USA TODAY, 7/13). ABC News' Sharyn Alfonsi noted members of Congress "say they’re anxious to hear some kind of response” from the USOC ("World News," ABC, 7/12). NBC News' Brian Williams said, “Are there better things for the Senate to worry about, like legislation? Sure, but it is a minor PR problem prior to the Games. The USOC, for their part, says they’re happy to have a high-profile sponsor like Ralph Lauren” (“Nightly News,” NBC, 7/12).
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING: USOC Chief Communications Officer Patrick Sandusky on Twitter “called the outrage over the made-in-China uniforms nonsense.” He said Ralph Lauren "financially supports our team,” and it is an “American company that supports American athletes." The AP’s Donna Cassata noted this is “not the first time that Ralph Lauren has designed the Olympic uniforms,” yet that “did little to quell the anger on Capitol Hill” (AP, 7/12). CBS News' Erica Hill noted it would "probably be a little tough” to replace the uniforms in time for the Opening Ceremony. Hill: "I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a little scrambling going on behind the scenes to do something about it” (“CBS This Morning,” CBS, 7/13). ABC News’ Josh Elliott said, “If ever there was a piece of clothing to be made in the U.S. this would seem to be it. ... You know you’re onto something when everybody is agreeing in Washington” (“GMA,” ABC, 7/13).