[Previously, on US Olympic Committee vs. the worldwide knitting community…]
Today, just after noon, the following was posted on Team USA’s official website:
Statement from USOC Spokesperson Patrick Sandusky
“Thanks to all of you who have posted, tweeted, emailed and called regarding the letter sent to the organizers of the Ravelympics.
Like you, we are extremely passionate about what we do. And, as you may know, the United States Olympic Committee is a non-profit entity, and our Olympic team receives no government funding. We are totally dependent on our sponsors, who pay for the right to associate with the Olympic Movement, as well as our generous donors to bring Team USA to the Games.
The letter sent to the organizers of the Ravelympics was a standard-form cease and desist letter that explained why we need to protect our trademarks in legal terms. Rest assured, as an organization that has many passionate knitters, we never intended to make this a personal attack on the knitting community or to suggest that knitters are not supportive of Team USA.
We apologize for any insult and appreciate your support. We embrace hand-crafted American goods as we currently have the Annin Flagmakers of New Jersey stitching a custom-made American flag to accompany our team to the Olympic Games in London. To show our support of the Ravelry community, we would welcome any handmade items that you would like to create to travel with, and motivate, our team at the 2012 Games.”
From the feedback at the bottom of the page, folks aren’t necessarily satisfied with this apology, but they should be.
Yes, you can poke all the holes you want the apology by comparing this line:
…we never intended to make this a personal attack on the knitting community or to suggest that knitters are not supportive of Team USA.
with this one:
We believe using the name “Ravelympics” for a competition that involves an afghan marathon, scarf hockey and sweater triathlon, among others, tends to denigrate the true nature of the Olympic Games. In a sense, it is disrespectful to our country’s finest athletes and fails to recognize or appreciate their hard work.
And the offer to take knitted donations, in the last paragraph of the apology, has been widely scoffed at even though it was clearly made with the best intentions.
But you know what? Organizations say rude things. And then they get called out for them. And if they have any integrity, they post a mea culpa while trying to make themselves look as good as possible (thus the offer to take donated knitted goods).
Top marks Medium-high scores for an apology that is not only timely (in twitter terms this has been going on for ages, but in business day terms this was a 24-hour-turnaround) but doesn’t say “we apologize if you were offended” or “we apologize that you were offended.” They say “we apologize for any insult.”
For this I say, stay classy Team USA (oh, and watch out for the Great White North in these summer games).