U.S. Olympics Committee: Redneck Olympics disrespects athletes

HEBRON — The Redneck Olympics “is disrespectful” to U.S. Olympic athletes, according to a letter from the United States Olympic Committee to Redneck Olympics organizer Harold Brooks of Hebron.

On Saturday, Brooks received a letter from the USOC asking him not to use the name “Olympics” if he intends to hold the Redneck Olympics in the future. The committee doesn't seek damages for the word's use in the Aug. 5-7 event.

Citing the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act, the letter said there is “no question” that Brooks violated federal law by selling tickets to the Redneck Olympics, which cost $15 to $20 for the weekend, including camping. The act gives the USOC all rights to the word “Olympics” in the United States.

“We believe using the name 'Redneck Olympics' for a competition that involves toilet-seat horseshoes and bobbing for pigs' feet tends to denigrate the true nature of the Olympic Games,” the letter reads.

Brooks objected to that characterization. “How can the people, the average person, in their activities, degrade anything?”

Brooks said the letter hasn't changed his mind on holding another Redneck Olympics, a move that could spur a lawsuit from the USOC, who have filed suits in other instances of people using the word “Olympics.”

“They don't scare me,” Brooks said Monday.

Brooks said the idea that the USOC owns a word is wrong, and wants it to change on a national level. He said he wants to see congress change the law and put the word back in the hands of the public.

According to the committee's letter, the law ensures that the Olympics remain “extraordinary and unique.”

“Otherwise,” the letter reads, “the Olympic Games might end up as just another sporting competition.”

Brooks said an attorney has suggested a parody defense, stating that Brooks' use of the word falls under fair use because his event is a parody of the Olympics. He said he likes that argument, but would like to take it further.

“Everybody should be able to use the word, not just me because it's a parody,” Brooks said. “What if they took more words? What if they took the word 'fair?' Can you imagine the loss to our society if we couldn't have any other fairs?”

He plans on starting a Facebook page asking Americans to support putting the word “Olympics” back into the public domain.

Brooks said he's trying to get Charlie Daniels to perform as a fundraiser for the Redneck Olympics. He said if it happens, he'll send tickets to the USOC. He has also contacted David Letterman in hopes the TV host will weigh in on his show.

According to Brooks, hundreds have e-mailed him letters of support, and trademark attorneys nationwide have expressed interest in representing him.

Calls to USOC spokespeople were not immediately returned Monday.



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Bruce Jollymore's picture

Redneck O-lympiks

It isn't worth the hassell, the time or the money to fight it. Just change the name a bit. "Redneck O-lympiks". Still gets the idea across and it seems even more like a redneck event. I haven't filed a trade mark application for the name so you are free to use it.

Bill Whitman's picture

USOC hypocrites

a few years ago, i gave the USOC a donation to support the athletes which i totally respect due to their hard work at becoming the best at their chosen sport. i made it clear to the USOC that i could not afford any more but wanted to support the athletes as much as i could. what did the USOC do with my money? in the following year, they sent me over 20 more requests for more money effectively spending all the money i had given them asking ME for more money after i had told them i couldn't afford anymore. i told them to take me off their mailing list and that i would never send them money again. eventually, it took a call and letter to the state's attorney general to get them to stop. therefore, i have no sympathy for these guys and so say - GO REDNECK OLYMPICS~!!!!!!!!!

Allisa Milliard's picture

not everyone can "dedcate

not everyone can "dedcate their entire lives to training for a sporting event" and "rise to the pinnicle". anyone can participate in toilet seat horseshoes as long as they have at least one arm. it's pretty much all inclusive. a bunch of people getting together and competing in events that they are actually qualified for, and haveing a good time being foolish for a weekend. just letting go, and not taking life seriously for a few minutes in these tough times, thats what the redneck olympics means. the olympics did not lose revenue, and the commetee is responding to the assumption that someone "might get offended". to paraphrase "waaaaaaaa!!!!"

as for the integrety of the olympics: the guy from the sudan that is competing in cross country skiing. 'nuf said.

Randall Pond's picture

Agreeing with Everyone

This just goes to show How Stupid America is becoming. We are fighting over who owns the rights to a word? Seriously? Way to GO USA!

Show the World how Really F**King Stupid We Truly Are!

No one they poke fun of us.

David  Cote's picture

Gold medal for Tom's post

Great point, Tom. And here's another thought... How many olympic atheletes have had their medals stripped from them due to positive drug tests or other infractions? Where's the integrity of the games go when cheating becomes a focal point. And couldn't other major sports, such as major league baseball, the NFL, etc...have an argument about how their names are used by the general public for backyard weekend activities as well? This whole argument by the olympic committee is absolutely stupid.

Hal Stone's picture

Carry the parody further

Why not avoid the conflict with the USOC by carrying the parody a bit further and using a redneck play on their name utilizing other words which they don't own, such as "Redneck Ol' Limb Picks" ?


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