Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ravelry v. USOC

I'm sure a lot of you by now have heard the kerfuffle regarding the US Olympic Comittee and their very insulting cease & desist letter to Ravelry.

In case you haven't, here are the pertinent links:

  • the cease & desist letter from the USOC legal council, which included terms like "disrespectful" and "denigrating" about our fiber arts
  • this letter led to an outcry from the Ravelry community regarding the tone of their letter on the USOC FB, twitter, and webpage. Places like Gawker picked up on the news.
  • The outcry led to a non-apology apology by the USOC Public Relations director, saying that it was a boilerplate letter and not meant to be insulting. There was another outcry from the Ravelry community about this non-apolgy apology. NPR picks up on the news.
  • FINALLY, an actual apology is finally given. (And apparently, their use of "denigrating" and very insulting tone IS boilerplate for the USOC.)

As an athlete (and former Olympic hopeful), I was deeply saddened & angered by the actions of the USOC. I wrote them a letter from the POV of an athlete and a knitter decrying their behaviour.

However, I have to say, that as a fiber artist, I was very proud of the Ravelry community for sticking together to defend its honor. It's really truly worth while to know that this "grass-roots" community embodies much of the Olympic spirit -- to work together and triumph together for the good of the whole.

This amusing Comic by Worsted for Wear pretty much sums up the initial letter: