Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images.
Ralph Lauren’s formal Team USA gear for the upcoming London Olympics can’t catch a break.
First the accompanying headgear inspired loud jeers. Now Congress is threatening to get involved after ABC News revealed last night that the red, white, and blue uniforms were in fact manufactured in China.
Bipartisan condemnation quickly followed Thursday, with rhetoric predictably focused on manufacturing jobs. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s frank reaction echoed many others: “I think they should take all the uniforms, put them in a big pile and burn them and start all over again.” House Speaker John Boehner also chimed in (“You’d think they know better,” he lamented), and by early afternoon, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and her House colleague Steve Israel had written a letter to the chairman of the U.S. Olympic Committee calling the news “shocking and deeply disappointing." The letter added that the uniforms could be made "on U.S. soil at the same price, at better quality."
For its part, the U.S. Olympic Committee issued an evasive statement, pointedly noting that the U.S. team is privately funded, and adding that the committee is “proud of our partnership with Ralph Lauren, an iconic American company.” A spokesman for the group also took the fight to Twitter, calling the outrage “nonsense.”
Meanwhile, Sen. Reid also offered up a more unorthodox suggestion that, at the very least, would make for an especially compelling Games: “If they have to wear nothing but a symbol that says USA on it, painted by hand, that is what they should wear.”