The 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team will forever carry the moniker "Miracle on Ice" after defeating the practically unbeatable Soviet Union squad 4-3 in a shocking, thrilling upset on the way to a gold medal that captured the imaginations and lifted the spirits of millions of Americans.
But on Friday night — the eve of the 40th anniversary of what's been called the greatest sports moment of the 20th century — members of the team appeared onstage with President Donald Trump at his Las Vegas rally.
And most of the former players wore red "Keep America Great" hats.
“ The name on the front is more important than the name on the back”. 🏒🏅🇺🇸 #MiracleonIce #40Years https://t.co/mLXIEjhvv3— 1980 Miracle Hockey Team (@1980 Miracle Hockey Team) 1582326031.0
From one of the team's Twitter photos and video of the players onstage, it appears at least three of the players did not wear the hats.
But Trump detractors lost it anyway. Chief among them arguably was journalist Soledad O'Brien:
Ugh.... so disappointed by the @1980MiracleTeam. I loved watching that game as a kid with my dad. Loved watching th… https://t.co/JaLkZnfHse— Soledad O'Brien (@Soledad O'Brien) 1582466745.0
Tennis icon Martina Navratilova tweeted "how disappointing" while actress Valerie Bertinelli added "shame on all of you for wearing those divisive racist hats."
A follow-up post from the team's Twitter account attempted to quell the growing rage:
@GoldenKnights @JimCraigUSA @MERUZIONE @OC_JACKOC @silkinetics @usahockey @NHLNetwork To us, this is not about poli… https://t.co/bsEMcX17pG— 1980 Miracle Hockey Team (@1980 Miracle Hockey Team) 1582405817.0
But leftist heads were exploding far and wide:
- "If it's not about politics then you wouldn't be wearing those red hats. But thanks for f***ing up one of our great national memories and finally giving it up to Russia. Assholes."
- "You guys just lost to Russia. 40 years later."
- "The miracle was tarnished with you wearing what is equivalent to KKK hoods. It was a campaign RALLY; nothing about it was neutral. Nothing more to celebrate. Good bye."
- "Shame on you. I cannot believe once of the greatest sports memories of my life is now so heavily tainted by Trumpism. Truly sad."
- "Way to destroy the 'Miracle' in one photo-op. I would never, under any circumstances, support or be photographed with this Nazi cult leader. Shame on every single one of you."
- "I've let go of people in my life that I've known for over 40 years when they 'came out' in favor of Trump and his policies. Heartbreaking."
- "The blowback from the team's appearance at the rally, and the subsequent tweet, was intense enough that the team's Twitter account posted a follow-up tweet that attempted to defend its choice to appear at the rally."
- "From defeating Russia to endorsing the president Putin built. Full circle."
However, some folks took issue with the negative commentary — as seen in a number of messages under O'Brien's tweet:
- "Sorry this happened to you, Soledad! @1980MiracleTeam matured and understand #MAGA is best for this country. You should observe and learn."
- "Loving America is crushing to you, eh?"
- "Oh, good grief. I remember when I enjoyed watching you. Your leftist rantings have pretty much crushed those fond memories. Give it a rest."
- "Liberal tears this early in the morning probably aren't good for me, but what the heck."
- "How coincidental! The 1980 Miracle Team was just saying how disappointed they are in you."
@soledadobrien @1980MiracleTeam 🔥🔥🔥🔥 https://t.co/B0ZiEDeK5T— M Mangoz (@M Mangoz) 1582509700.0
Here's a clip from Trump's rally with members of the team onstage:
And how could we not include a clip of the last minute of the game that night in Lake Placid, New York?