It’s about time! Finally, the Olympic track and field events are under way on August 12th. For many of the Team USA athletes, it’s a first time adventure, many it’s a second or third round and a chance to showcase talents they have been working on for a lifetime. It’s the time when Track and Field is center stage, and athletes and sponsors should be able to make the most out of all the attention.
Well, you would think, but thanks to a Rule 40, starting with the Olympic Trials, athletes and sponsors are closely monitors and can’t mention their athletes’ names in conjunction with anything to do with the Olympics and Rio. Oiselle apparel company knows this all too well as Nike lawyers jumped all over them for posting about their athlete Kate Grace for making the 800m team to Rio.
With our federation being sponsored by Nike until 2040( don’t get me started on that one!), athletes can’t wear their sponsors uniforms in the Olympics other than their shoes, but now they might as well be running with a muzzle with a big swoosh as well.
So, as I watched the funny tweets and posts come out from sponsors and their CEOs about “ that big event in the Southern Hemisphere with the rings” I laughed. But Brooks CEO Jim Weber’s tweet of “ go @handsondisproj girl at quadrennial sporting event . #rule 40#%^* ridiculous” kind of put me over the edge. He was referring to Desiree Linden, their top USA marathoner.
So, here’s my athlete, fan, friends and family Call to Action request. Sure the athletes we love and have supported emotionally and monetarily may have their mouths’ taped, we don’t! While the sponsors that have helped get Team USA to the great stage are legally obligated to not talk about their athletes, we can by giving them credit where credit is due. Like New Balance that that took a chance on me out of college, and Reebok that supported me very well even through my pregnancies, and ASICS America that rewarded me with a sponsorship after winning a national championship. I couldn’t have had the career I had without you.
There are so many great stories out there about each and everyone of our Athletes on Team USA. While Rule 40 may suck, our athletes and sponsors rock. And for every rule, there’s a loop hole or a damn good lawyer. So, let’s do this!! Tweet, post, IG, snap.., and do what ever else I’ve probably never heard of to get the word out and tag those sponsors and athletes! Let’s hope this Rule will be null and void by the next time the Olympics rolls around. For now, it’s a short-term fix for a much larger problem.#teamusathanksyou #powerinnumbers #freespeech