U.S. Hockey legend Mike Eruzione says he now regrets wearing a pro-Trump “Keep America Great” hat and appearing on stage next to President Donald Trump at his recent Las Vegas political rally held last Friday afternoon.
Trump brought out the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey champs from the iconic “Miracle on Ice” who coincidentally were in Sin City to celebrate four decades from their impossible gold medal competing against a Soviet team comprised of professional-level athletes.
“Tomorrow marks the 40 years since the United States men’s hockey team defeated the Soviet Union team in the 1980 Olympics,” the president said as he hosted Eruzione and many other team members before asking the Olympic Team Captain to speak.
In an interview with The Washington Post , however, Eruzione revealed that appearance was entirely improvised and he regrets the political backlash he has received. Reporting for the Post, David Nakamura writes:
After the team took photos with him backstage in Las Vegas, Trump invited them to join him onstage. “What are you going to say?” Eruzione said. “To us it was, ‘Sure.’ ”
When he was handed the red hat, he said, “I just put it on. I wasn’t thinking. Maybe this shows I’m naive, shows I’m stupid. I don’t know. I don’t follow politics. I know he’s had some issues and said a lot of things people don’t like.”
Eruzione ruefully compared the backlash against the team with the joy in 1980 when they were hailed as heroes amid Cold War tensions. During the interview, he called up his Twitter account and began reading some of the angry tweets over the phone: “Did they have to wear those hats? … A shame on all of you for wearing those divisive, racist hats. … 40 years ago, you brought joy, but tonight it’s deep sadness.”
“I told my wife, ‘People think we are a disgrace,’ ” he said.
Eruzione also told the Post he voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and voted for Trump eight years later.
This isn’t the first time a red Trump hat has led to uproar in sports. During the Washington Nationals’ White House celebration in November, Kurt Suzuki pulled out a “MAGA” hat when he stepped to the podium, and Trump then embraced him from behind.
And in case you’ve never seen it, watch this amazing moment in Olympic history. Heck, even if you’ve watched this…WATCH IT AGAIN: