A Pennsylvania youth hockey player and a hockey mask artist were on the receiving end of some online criticism after a goalie mask depicting President Donald Trump holding a trowel and a brick was shown on social media.
The depiction is an obvious nod to Trump’s 2016 campaign promise to build a wall between the United States and Mexico. There is also a clear reference to a long list of hockey players who had “wall” in their nickname, including 4 time Stanley cup champion Johnny Bower, who went by the name “The China Wall”, as well as Nikolai Khabibulin, a Russian former professional ice hockey goaltender who was known by the nickname “The Bulin Wall.”
The artist behind the Trump-based mask is named Doug Wagner, an artist who has been working with goalie masks for over two decades. In an interview with USA Today, Wagner says he didn’t have a problem with painting the mask for the 14-year-old.
“They asked if I wanted to paint it and I said, ‘Sure. Why not?’ he told the newspaper. “Personally, I would have picked something different. It’s a hot topic. It’d be a bit too far for me if it was my mask.”
The depiction of Trump on the mask shows him holding a brick and trowel in his hands. The mask was a gift to the teen from his parents, who themselves are Trump supporters.
“It’s freedom of expression,” Wager told USA Today. “It’s not like they wanted a Mexican flag with a slash through it or anything like that. I think they wanted to be funny. Normally, there’s no reason why anyone would be upset over having the President of the United States on a mask. Unfortunately, this is the kind of thing that people take offence to and, in my opinion, it’s a willful act to be outraged.”
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.