5 Big Questions: Rep. Matt Rosendale

Rep. Rosendale is leading a group of GOP lawmakers in asking the U.S. Olympic Committee to preserve decorum among Team USA athletes.

With all eyes on the Tokyo Olympics, wavering patriotism among Team USA athletes is coming into sharp focus. Rep. Matt Rosendale joined Campus Reform to answer 5 Big Questions about how young adults perceive America. 

Rosendale authored a letter, signed by 38 other Congressional Republicans, asking the U.S. Olympic Committee to remind our athletes that Olympic rules prohibit protesting during athletic events and medal ceremonies. 

Article 50 of the Olympic Charter specifies that athletes may express political opinions in interviews, but they may not use athletic events or medal ceremonies to make a political statement. 

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In his letter, Rosendale writes, “It is an honor and a privilege to represent the United States of America at the Olympic Games. It is unacceptable for athletes to use the Olympic Games as a pulpit to attack our country.”

The letter asks the U.S. Olympic Committee to remind Team USA athletes of their responsibilities under Article 50. 

Rosendale told Campus Reform, “All we’re doing is asking them to enforce their own rules.” He continued, “When you agree to participate...there are rules, and you have to abide by those rules.”

Athletes still have the right to free speech, Rosendale said: “If [athletes are] not utilizing the platform of the United States as Team USA, then they absolutely can go and make whatever type of proclamations” they desire.

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Rosendale shared the story of how he raised and lowered the flag at his middle school as a child, instilling in him respect for this country. He said students today could use similar lessons. “Our universities...need to start spreading that same type of pride and patriotism and sharing it with the students. It always comes from leadership.”

Rosendale also proudly touted the results of a recent survey that found Montana to be the most patriotic state in the nation. 

Follow the interviewer on Twitter: @AngelaLMorabito