The red, white and blue uniformsthat will be worn by American athletes for Olympic ceremonies were unveiled by designer Ralph Lauren and the United States Olympic Committee on Tuesday.
However, a subsequent report by ABC News revealed that, while the look is All-American, it is hardly American-made. Each item in the uniform, from the navy blue berets right down to the shoes, have “Made in China” labels.
The discovery has not been welcome news to American politicians, who believe Team USA should be wearing uniforms made in the USA.
“They should take all the outfits, put them in a big pile and burn them and start all over,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“If they have to wear nothing but a singlet saying USA on it painted by hand, that’s what they should do,” he added, as an alternative for wearing foreign-made uniforms.
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Steve Israel drafted a letter to the U.S. Olympic Committee, demanding that all future uniforms designed for Team USA are made by American workers.
“When America’s best athletes are representing our country on the world stage, we should be representing the best of American-made goods,” Senator Gillibrand said. “The pride of our Olympic athletics goes hand in hand with the pride of American innovation and manufacturing. From head to toe, Team USA must be made in America.”
“It is disgraceful that our American athletes will be wearing Chinese-made uniforms during the Olympics,” Rep. Israel said. “We should be promoting American-made goods and supporting our domestic manufacturers and laborers. I urge the U.S. Olympic Committee to reconsider their decision.”
The USOC has not apologized for the uniforms, instead hinting that it must rely on its sponsors.
“Unlike most Olympic teams around the world, the U.S. Olympic Team is privately funded and we’re grateful for the support of our sponsors,” Chief Communications and Public Affairs Officer Patrick Sandusky said in a statement. “We’re proud of our partnership with Ralph Lauren, an iconic American company, and excited to watch America’s finest athletes compete at the upcoming Games in London.”