© 2023 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Sen. Reid On 'Made In China' U.S. Olympic Uniforms: 'Burn Them'

This product image released by Ralph Lauren shows U.S. Olympic athletes, from left, swimmer Ryan Lochte, decathlete Bryan Clay, rower Giuseppe Lanzone and soccer player Heather Mitts modeling the the official Team USA Opening Ceremony Parade Uniform.

Yesterday, ABC News made a curious discovery about the U.S. Olympic uniforms designed by Ralph Lauren: The pride of America, as they put it, will be wearing red, white and blue attire made in China.

"Every item in the uniforms that the U.S. athletes will be wearing at the opening ceremony in London will carry an overseas label," ABC reported.

The U.S. Olympic Committee told ABC that the team is "privately funded and we're grateful for the support of our sponsors." They added: "We're proud of our partnership with Ralph Lauren, an iconic American company."

The Senate Majority leader, Harry Reid, from Nevada, had a different opinion about that.

Here's what he told The Wall Street Journal today:

"Mr. Reid said he thought 'they should take all the outfits, put them in a big pile and burn them and start all over.'

"Not satisfied, the Democratic leader then had a suggestion for what revised uniforms should look like: 'If they have to wear nothing but a singlet saying USA on it painted by hand, that's what they should do.'"

And if you thought making the uniforms in China was a money-saving venture, you'd be mistaken. At least to consumers, the uniforms will cost a pretty penny. A polo shirt retails for $145 and a blazer goes for $795.

What do you think? How much does where the uniform is made matter?

Update at 6:19 p.m. ET. Bi-Partisan Outrage:

This issue is one thing Congressional Republicans and Democrats can get behind.

"You'd think they know better," said House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, when asked about the uniforms.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and powerful storytelling.
Your donation helps make nonprofit journalism available for everyone.