[This is an apology to the USOC, its spokesman, Patrick Sandusky, and law clerk Brett Hirsch]
Please accept my heartfelt apology for the backlash that you and your offices received earlier this week in response to the online posting of Mr. Hirsch’s business correspondence to Casey Forbes, founder of Ravelry, claiming that Ravelry’s use of the term “Ravelympics” may be infringing upon the Olympic trademark. As anyone capable of using Google now knows, the Knitters (and yes, a capital “K” is appropriate here) got very upset at what we felt was the insulting tone of Mr. Hirsch’s letter.
The alleged inflammatory remark certainly sparked a flame within Ravelry, resulting in a call to take it to social media to right the wrong. I can’t imagine how many e-mails, phone calls, or letters you received, not to mention all the Facebook posts, tweets, and personal blog updates threatening to boycott the Olympics and all of its corporate sponsors, and demanding an apology for the alleged insult. Which we got – from Mr. Sandusky himself – but you know what? That apparently wasn’t good enough, so we demanded a revised apology. Which again, we received. And now Knitters everywhere are rejoicing at our power to enact change in the world.
I am so embarrassed.
Really? We were wrong. The USOC not only had the right, but the obligation to defend the Olympic trademark, regardless of the nature of alleged infringement. And I understand that Mr. Hirsch was just trying to accomplish the assignment given to him, and he was the unfortunate person who happened to sign that particular letter. I’m sure that many of those same letters are mailed out every day. The online name-calling and demands for Mr. Hirsch to personally apologize or to be fired were completely and utterly out of line.
By our collective actions responding to the letter, we have done exactly what we were accused of. We disrespected and denigrated the lifelong efforts of the US Olympic Team by throwing a temper tantrum when we didn’t get our way. Shame on us.
I thank you for your dedication to upholding the law and defending your client’s rights. Mr. Hirsch, I wish you the best of luck as you complete your law degree and take the bar exam next year. And I for one will be cheering on and supporting Team USA as they compete in London. Not all Knitters are nuts – I promise.