Political correctness gone crazy

  1. U.S. athletes told to cool it at Olympics


    By Simon Hart
    LONDON SUNDAY TELEGRAPH


    NEW YORK-American athletes have been warned not to wave the U.S. flag during their medal celebrations at this summer's Olympic Games in Athens, for fear of provoking crowd hostility and harming the country's already-battered public image.
    The spectacle of victorious athletes grabbing a national flag and parading it around the stadium is a familiar part of international sporting competition, but U.S. Olympic officials have ordered their 550-strong team to exercise restraint and avoid any jingoistic behavior.

    The plan is part of a charm offensive aimed at repairing the country's international reputation after the deepening crisis in Iraq and damaging revelations of the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. forces at the Abu Ghraib prison.
    "American athletes find themselves in extraordinary circumstances in Athens in relation to the world as we know it right now," said Mike Moran, a veteran former spokesman for the United States Olympic Committee who has been retained as a consultant to advise athletes how to behave.
    "Regardless of whether there is anti-American sentiment in Athens or not, the world watches Americans a lot now in terms of how they behave and our culture. What I am trying to do with the athletes and coaches is to suggest to them that they consider how the normal things they do at an event, including the Olympics, might be viewed as confrontational or insulting or cause embarrassment."
    Four years ago at the Sydney Olympics, members of the victorious American 400-meter relay team were widely condemned for strutting with the U.S. flag after their gold medal presentation. American officials, mindful of the country's precarious standing in world opinion, are desperate to avoid any repeat.
    "Unfortunately, using the flag as a prop or a piece of apparel or indulging in boasting behavior is becoming part of our society in sport because every night on TV we see our athletes-professional, college or otherwise-taunting their opponents and going face-to-face with each other," Mr. Moran said. "We are trying for 17 days to break that culture.
    "What I am telling the athletes is, 'Don't run over and grab a flag and take it round the track with you.' It's not business as usual for American athletes. If a Kenyan or a Russian grabs their national flag and runs round the track or holds it high over their heads, it might not be viewed as confrontational. Where we are in the world right now, an American athlete doing that might be viewed in another manner."
    Mr. Moran added that the behavior of British athletes could face similar scrutiny in Athens, though the British Olympic Association insists there are no plans to ban them from celebrating with the Union flag.
    "It's up to every athlete how he or she wishes to celebrate their Olympic success, and there are no plans to issue any instructions," a spokesman for the association said. "We are confident that every athlete will celebrate in a responsible way."
    The USOC's anxiety at overexuberant displays of jingoism is a far cry from scenes at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, where the American flag became the defining symbol of the Games.
    A different environment awaits the American team in Athens, where officials are anxious to replace apple pie with humble pie.
    Americans were booed at the World Athletics Championships in Paris last year largely because of Jon Drummond's histrionic protest at his disqualification from a heat of the 100 meters. Also, at an Olympic soccer qualifying match in Mexico earlier this year, the American team was subjected to sustained razzing by a section of the crowd, including chants of "Osama, Osama!"
    "We're not the favorite kid in the world right now," conceded Bill Martin, the USOC's acting president. "We are sensitive not only to the security issue, but to jingoism in its raw sense. That is why we are sending people around to educate the athletes as to the appropriate behavior."

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    I find this highly offensive that they would tell these Rightfully proud athletes who are competeing for THEIR COUNTRY that they can not wave the flag. That would make me just wave it harder and longer. Next thing you know they will be telling these guys it might not be best to try to win any medals or at the best a bronze cuz you know some third world hell hole might get upset and we sure do not want to step on any toes and offend their delicate sensibilites.

    GET REAL olympic committee.. be proud of who you are and who you represent. We already are targets and if you think they do not know who we are you are sorely mistaken. You can spot an American in a crowd in any city in the world.

    Dave
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Just went you think things can't get anymore ridiculous. Heck, why not ban this country from it all together? Jeez.

    Hey, if we can't wave our flag, then the same should apply to ALL countries.
  4. by   warrior woman
    I say we boycott the games. If we can't ceebrate our victories, we may as well stay home.
  5. by   VivaLasViejas
    For once, I agree with Dave. This is asinine!! :angryfire
  6. by   Ted
    If this is true, then it's wrong. Why prevent anyone from expressing appreciation towards their country, especially during the Olympics??



    Ted
  7. by   gwenith
    Four years ago at the Sydney Olympics, members of the victorious American 400-meter relay team were widely condemned for strutting with the U.S. flag after their gold medal presentation. American officials, mindful of the country's precarious standing in world opinion, are desperate to avoid any repeat.
    They were????

    To be honest we were too busy talking about whether or not Kathy Freeman was going to walk around draped in the Aussie and the Aboriginal flag to notice.
  8. by   fergus51
    I think you guys missed one important part of this: It isn't the world or someone else telling them this, it's ANOTHER AMERICAN. No reason to get offended at the rest of the world or demand that they be subjected to the same rules, this was not forced on us by them. It was our own home grown goofs that came up with this one.
  9. by   warrior woman
    Good point Fergus!! Sometimes these imbeciles get me so pissed!!
  10. by   Mkue
    That figures, a home grown goof :chuckle

    If people can turn their backs on the National anthum and our flag, athletes should be allowed to wave their American Flags.

    God Bless America
  11. by   warrior woman
    We can shore 'nuff grow 'em can't we ??
  12. by   stevierae
    Quote from mkue
    That figures, a home grown goof :chuckle

    If people can turn their backs on the National anthum and our flag, athletes should be allowed to wave their American Flags.

    God Bless America
    Home grown goofs is right.

    I think the athletes that want to show their patriotism should try this bit of passive-aggressive behavior:

    Remember years ago when those black athletes at the Olympics gave the Black Power salute?

    I say all the black athletes on this team do likewise, in unison, during The Pledge of Allegiance, or national anthem, or as a gesture of solidarity each time a medal is awarded to their team.

    Heck, maybe their white teammates should do the same, for solidarity. They will be encouraged, quickly enough, by those home grown goofs to go back to doing what they wanted to do in the first place--strutting or showing off any way they want to with the American flag, as long as it's respectful of the flag--not letting it droop on the ground.

    "Home grown goofs." I love it, and it describes so many in high places so well.
    Last edit by stevierae on May 18, '04
  13. by   fergus51
    LOL! Well, every country seems to be able to produce a good number of home grown goofs and we're no exception. Too bad we can't find someplace to export them to
  14. by   Stitchie
    Seems to me that this bit of P.R. is like bringing a box band-aids to a train wreck...no offense to train wrecks :chuckle ...

    As for exporting their home grown goofs, apparently many of them end up in my ER and/or nursing homes (and thus...my ER) because we sure do seem to have lots of silly complaints lately.

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