Team USA Women’s Hockey Goalie Required to Remove U.S. Constitution Reference From Mask

The International Olympic Committee is requiring Team USA women’s hockey goalie Jessie Vetter to remove an inscription bearing “We the People” on her custom mask before the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The reference from the U.S. Constitution is seen by the IOC as “propaganda” promoting the United States over other countries, according to Ron Slater, the mask’s artist. He also makes custom masks for NHL players.

A shot by Team Canada’s Meghan Agosta-Marciano gets past Team USA goalie Jessie Vetter (31) for a goal in the third period of a women’s hockey game on Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, in St. Paul, Minn. Team USA won 3-2 in an overtime shooyout. (AP Photo/The Star Tribune, Carlos Gonzalez)

“It ruffles the wrong feathers, I guess,” Slater told

Vetter’s mask “was allowed to retain depictions of the Statue of Liberty, a screaming bald eagle and a ‘USA’ shield,” the report adds.

Slater remembers Vetter asking him to add “We the People.” She reportedly told him: “It’s only three words. How much damage could they do?”

Rob Koch, the communications director for USA Hockey, told that the incident “has not been an issue for our players.”

“It is our understanding that this is not an issue about the patriotic nature of the image depicting the U.S Constitution. The adjustment was necessary because the image did not meet IOC guidelines. It contained wording, which is not allowed on uniforms for any sports at the Olympic games,” he said.

In addition to the patriotic phrases, Vetter was reportedly also required to remove a depiction of the Olympic rings and a Wisconsin Badgers logo. This censorship is apparently not out of the ordinary: “Four years ago, U.S. goalies Ryan Miller and Jonathan Quick had to change their masks. Miller had to remove the phrase ‘Miller Time,’ and Quick had to drop the words ‘Support our troops,'” reports.