“Miracle on Ice” hockey legend Mike Eruzione said that he regrets putting on the “Keep America Great” hat during President Donald Trump’s rally Feb. 21.
Trump celebrated the 40th anniversary of the “Miracle on Ice” gold medal win, surrounded on stage by the 1980 USA hockey team. The team beat the Soviet Union en route to their success, and ten of them wore “Keep America Great” hats as they stood on stage with Trump. The decision sparked backlash, with people saying that the hats symbolized hatred and racism.
“If we knew we were going to piss off this many people, we probably would not have put the hats on,” Eruzione, the team’s captain, told the Washington Post. “That’s the big question here. A lot of the stuff I got was, ‘You guys said it’s not political, but when you put the hats on, you made it political.'” (RELATED: Recapping President Trump’s Best Week Ever)
Watch as President Trump welcomes members of the Miracle on Ice team to his rally in Las Vegas. Those in attendance include Mike Eruzione, Jim Craig, Bill Baker, Dave Christian, Ken Morrow, Jack O’Callahan, Mike Ramsey, Mark Wells, and assistant coach Craig Patrick. pic.twitter.com/2l0ZXu4iWi
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) February 21, 2020
The 65-year-old scored the game-winning goal against the Soviet Union hockey team in 1980. He added that he was surprised at how many people were angered that the team appeared alongside Trump.
“I never anticipated the vast amounts of hate mail and threats we received,” according to Eruzione, saying he didn’t even consider that people would be bothered by the hat. “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.”
Ugh…. so disappointed by the @1980MiracleTeam. I loved watching that game as a kid with my dad. Loved watching the movie with my kids. To see them on a stage, in maga hats—kinda crushing I have to say.
— Soledad O’Brien (@soledadobrien) February 23, 2020
Eruzione said that he has received many messages attacking him for the “Keep America Great” hat. He told his wife that “people think we are a disgrace.”