'Miracle on Ice' team captain says he's getting fierce criticism for wearing 'Keep America Great' hat

Members of the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" U.S. Olympic ice hockey team are under fire for sporting "Keep America Great" hats at a recent rally for President TrumpDonald John TrumpJoe Arpaio loses bid for his old position as sheriff Trump brushes off view that Russia denigrating Biden: 'Nobody's been tougher on Russia than I have' Trump tees up executive orders on economy but won't sign yet MORE in Las Vegas.

The team initially was invited to be in a separate photo line with the president at last week's rally, but they later appeared onstage, according to The Washington Post, with many wearing the hats.

Trump had invited team captain Mike Eruzione, 65, along with other players to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the "Miracle on Ice" game in which they beat the four-time defending gold medalist Soviet Union team and later won the gold medal for the U.S.

ADVERTISEMENT

Eruzione said he didn't know he would be introduced onstage or offered one of the Trump hats. Four former team members did not wear the hats, while 10 others did, according to the Post.

Eruzione, who is director of special outreach at his alma mater, Boston University, said he has received angry calls and messages on social media about wearing the hat.

"If we knew we were going to piss off this many people, we probably would not have put the hats on," said Eruzione. "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.' "

Eruzione and his former teammates are not the first to spark controversy over wearing Trump-related hats. Last year, Kanye WestKanye Omari West Illinois elections board says Kanye West short of necessary signatures to get on ballot Kanye West 'not denying' his campaign seeks to damage Biden The Hill's Campaign Report: US officials say Russia, China are looking to sow discord in election MORE came under criticism from his fans after he said wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat is "not about politics" but about stopping the stigma surrounding expressing support for Trump.