Colin Edwards honors fallen SEALs with Indy helmet

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This is the first picture of Colin Edwards’ helmet design for the 2011 Indianapolis Grand Prix. Featuring the Special Warfare insignia of the US Navy SEALs and the stars and stripes, it pays tribute to the 22 special forces soldiers who were killed on August 6 when their helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan. Most of those soldiers were members of the elite SEAL Team 6, which was responsible for killing Osama bin Laden. Edwards is a long time supporter of the US Military, but wearing a helmet such as this in a very international competition, even one that takes place in America, is bound to prove controversial.

Update: our buddies at Monster Energy grabbed Colin and had him explain the helmet on video for us. It’s below.

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Colin is close friends with Marcus Luttrell, a noted SEAL.

The Special Warfare insignia is made up of an eagle clutching an anchor, trident and flintlock pistol. The eagle is America’s symbol of freedom, also representing the SEAL’s speciality in aerial insertions. The anchor represents the Navy, of which the SEALs are a part. The trident represents the sea, which is the core operating environment for the service. The cocked and ready to fire pistol represents preparedness and direct action. The insignia is the only US military pin which is worn in the same way by both officers and enlisted soldiers.

The raid that resulted in bin Laden’s death is one of the most daring and controversial in military history, accomplishing its goal in complete secrecy with minimal force while potentially violating Pakistan’s sovereignty. MotoGP is dominated by European participants at the rider, team and organization levels. Their liberal sensibilities and the controversial nature of America’s involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq is bound to set tongues wagging this weekend. Think of this helmet as a red, white and blue middle finger.

Thanks for the photo, Bob.

  • Terry

    Well tough toodles for them. I support any tribute to the guys who shot Osama bin Laden in the face.

    I’m not sure how I feel about the emblem, but the stars-and-stripes part of the design is nice.

  • Chris

    All I can say is America, F yeah!

  • JVictor75

    That. Is. Awesome.

    I agree that it will be controversial, but you know what? Screw ‘em.

    You know what would be even more awesome? If Edwards and Arai could team up, start selling this helmet, and donate at least some of the money they would make to any number of the Navy Seal warrior funds that have cropped up.

    Just pick one that they like and go with it.
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=Navy+Seal+Fund&aq=f&aqi=g2g-b1&aql=&oq=

    I know that I want one. And it would be my first Arai.

  • Edward

    This seems like a pretty speculative “controversy.” Slow news day?

  • isambard

    Dunno how liberal racers of any nationality are, European or not. I’d be surprised if anyone gives a flying fuck.

    • zipp4

      +1

  • Scott-jay

    “raid that resulted in bin Laden’s death is one of the most daring and controversial in military history, accomplishing its goal in complete secrecy with minimal force while potentially violating Pakistan’s sovereignty.”
    Keep this shit outa here.

    • Ryan

      What shit? Facts?

      That statement is entirely true, and it is entirely moderate, well “Most daring” may be a bit of hyperbola.

      Wes was nice when he said “potentially violated”. The reality is, we violated, not potentially violated, Pakistani sovereignty. If you haven’t noticed, stunts like that are the reason there are two craters in New York.

      [Before everyone jumps on this, I think the helmet is a nice gesture of support for people he has a personal connection with, and I had lovely time during my time in the military.]

  • oldblue

    More power to the Navy Seals, but most people watching will just think it’s the Aerosmith logo.

  • John

    Who are you kidding, nobodies gonna give a shit except the americans who will love and support it.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      For the record, we love us some Colin Edwards, special forces, shooting assholes in the face and American beer. Having said that, Colin will be well aware of the raised eyebrows this will cause in sockless loafer circles and that likely influenced his decision. Acknowledging reality is not an opinion, it’s informed analysis.

      • isambard

        Who’s a liberal in the motogp world? Genuine question…my assumption has always been that anyone involved with motorsport skews conservative, if they have politics at all. Fwiw I’m a Brit living in the US like you.

  • FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF

    I am a Navy veteran (five years, STG2(SW) when I got out), so I have just a couple of niggles with this.
    First, Navy members are called Sailors, not Soldiers–save that word for the Army. Also, Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine, and Coast Guardsman are always capitalized in military literature, but your style guide may vary.
    Second, I’m not really sure what “The insignia is the only US military pin which is worn in the same way by both officers and enlisted soldiers.” is supposed to mean, but its patently false. Most pins in the Navy are silver for enlisted and gold for officers, but there are exceptions, notably Naval Aircrewman which is always gold. There are plenty of former enlisted officers who wear (and are authorized to wear) their old pins with their new uniform. Finally, most pins go in the same two slots on a Navy uniform, no matter who you are–on the left breast, above and below your ribbons.
    To not entirely miss the point of this post, that helmet is a little too much for me, and if you wore it in San Diego you’d probably get your ass beat unless you really are a SEAL. Good on Edwards for supporting our troops or whatever, but I don’t like people wearing warfare pins without earning them.

    • jason McCrash

      6 year Jarhead (Gulf 1) and I was gonna correct the “pin” line too. It isn’t a pin, it is a qualification badge. I can’t say for the Navy, but on our side of the Department of the Navy (the Men’s department as we used to joke, sorry 2011!) Marines wear the same badges if they are for a qualification that both officers and enlisted Marines can rate, be they parachutist, rifle or pistol qualification, air crew, scuba, etc.
      I will also agree with 2011 that members of the Navy are Sailors. They catch a lot of flack from other services (such as being the original Squids) but life on a ship blows walrus cock and they deserve respect. The first time I saw a Trident on a guy’s uniform was waiting in line at the PX in Subic Bay in the Philippines a week after a coup was defeated 1989. These dudes cut the line, were completely “out of uniform” and not one Marine or Sailor said a word. That is the respect that the Trident gets. Later that week there was a brawl at a “SEAL” bar in Olongapo and 5-6 SEALS ruined about 15 Jarheads.
      I don’t expect most people to know the nomenclature of the military if they never served, but to vets it does kinda make ya go ‘ugh’ when you hear stuff like “Congressional” Medal of Honor or pins.
      Kudos to Colin and if anyone visiting the US for the race gives him shit for it they should probably double-check the list of countries that have or have had troops help us in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lybia, the Philippines and a whole lot of other places since 9/11/01. It would surprise 99% of the world if they actually took the time to look up how involved other countries militaries have been in the post-9/11 activities against radicalism.
      Ooh Rah 2011, Sgt Crash.

  • KP

    Spies’ Captain America lid is more my pace but this is pretty tasteful. It’s a nice gesture, good for him.

    • cadillacjack

      It’s not Captain America logo on the Spies helmet. It’s the US Airplane logo, in every branch. But, I agree, I bought one.

  • T Diver

    You smell that? That’s freedom bitches. Our treasuries may be at record lows but I don’t see anyone running to buy Swiss bonds.

    • FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF

      The Swiss Franc is actually a traditional hedge against uncertainty, like gold. Are you trolling?

      • http://www.pedalgents.com holdingfast

        you cant afford swiss francs, thats why.

      • T Diver

        Not trolling just bummed by the overall lack of confidence. The least bad place to spend money concept I guess.

  • Deep6Dive

    Being a vet i think something that just said “lets get these boys out of those shit holes called a country and protect ourselves is a better helmet.”

    but I know the guys over there are having too much “Fun” kicking in peoples assholes to actually want to come back here.”

    keep those yellow ribbons out mom.

    • cameron amick

      libertarian slogans will never make good merch.

  • http://rider49er.blogspot.com Mark D

    This could be a cool design for all nationalities. RAF helmets for the Brits? Awesome. ADF logo for Stoner? Badass. Imperial Rising Sun helmet for Japanese? A bit more controversial, but also badass. I suppose same goes for the Iron Cross for any Germans. But like Lemmey says, Bad Guys always have the best uniforms.

  • http://www.damiengaudet.blogspot.com damien

    I’m not into guns, hunting, or overt patriotism… But when Edwards does it, I think it’s awesome. He’s just a likable dude.

  • Dennis

    The SEALS are one of the most loved and respected groups in the US military. Americans of every political view worship them. And that was before the killed bin Laden. Now they’re beyond superstars.

    If it was a case of a celebrity honoring some group of grunts nobody had heard of, I’d be less skeptical. But this looks an awful lot like a B list celebrity trying to hitch his star to somebody else more popular.

    I’m sure Colin Edwards has volunteered weeks and weeks for the USO. I blame Google for zero hits when I search for it…

    The crack about imagined controversy from liberal Europeans is a case of an obscure blogger trying to stir shit up in the hopes of getting some buzz. Everybody wants a little of that SEAL fame, don’t they?

    • Gene

      I dunno, the current crop of MotoGP riders seem to be a seriously crybaby whiny ass bunch. I can’t see Wayne Rainey, Kevin Schwantz, or Mick Doohan whinging about minimal radiation in Japan, or who bumped fairings with who.

      So yeah, I can see some of them being snooty holier-than-thou about this.

      You wanna talk embarrassing? Riders on Japanese made bikes, with “we luv ya Japan” stickers on the fairing, then not racing 3 days in Japan because of some radiation boogyman. Goddamn hypocritical twits. How about showing some respect to the motherf**kers that have spent just a little more than 3 days in it? And maybe lost a house or got seriously injured in the tsunami?

      Rant off.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      This obscure blogger doesn’t understand why “controversial” is a “crack.”

      America’s overwhelming patriotism is viewed in a somewhat negative light in the rest of the world. That’s simply a statement of fact, not a judgement.

      • Dennis

        Just cite any European in motorcycling saying one bad thing about the US Navy SEALs and you win. Easy.

        Now if you want to cite Europeans in motorcycling who are as cynical as I am about Edwards self-servingly jumping on the SEAL bandwagon, you might have something. Those bastards make a doom-saying curmudgeon like me look like Mary Poppins.

        • http://www.damiengaudet.blogspot.com damien

          Dude, you obviously don’t follow MotoGP very closely if you think Colin Edwards is jumping on any type of fucking bandwagon. This dude has been rocking military hats as long as I can remember, and always says exactly what he’s thinking. I’m calling bullshit on you for calling bullshit on him.

          • Joe

            +1

          • Dennis

            USO tours are hard. They take time. Writing checks big enough to make a difference to the troops costs money. “Rocking hats” is easy, costs nothing.

            Oh, look. It Arai donated 0% of their advertising space to the cause. Colin sure must have twisted their arm.

            • Alex

              Strong is the hate in this one.

              • Dennis

                Bumper sticker patriotism sticks in my craw.

                If you want credit for supporting the troops, you have to DO something to support the troops. Pasting on logos is not doing shit for anybody.

                • cameron amick

                  i’ve got two american flag bumper stickers on my truck.

                  how do you know this guy isn’t donating time and money to uso without asking for recognition?

                • Alex

                  Really Dennis. You need to do some research. Colin is a very long time supporter of the US Armed Forces, is good friends with many Special Forces guys, and has done a great many things with his personal time to support the troops. Most of these things have gone unnoticed and undocumented because it’s very much a ‘Not About Colin’ thing and all about the guys.

                  Move on please.

      • Jens

        I am also not a fan of overhelming patriotism (not on your not on my site of the Atlantic Ocean), but as a German I know what we owe the Americans.

        It´s all about doing things…..

        Spreaded over FB and the international Buellforums.

        German Biketoberfest:

        Join the Pegasus Buell Experience 2011, the European Buell Trackevent of the year!
        Following the idea of the event to bring people together, we offer for Buellers who do their service at the US forces in Europe a free participation on the Trackday on 21. of September. It incl. the 5 Turns and all fees for the 4 days stay in the paddock, the poster, a T-shirt and is limited up to 5 Buellers. First come, first serve.

        Jens
        http://www.pegasusraceteam.com

    • jason McCrash

      I saw a USO show in Saudi Arabia on Dec 26th 1990. Other than Bob Hope falling 6 feet when the “stairs” made of MRE crates collapsed it was a huge waste of my fucking time, we drove for hours to the middle of nowhere (from a different middle of nowhere), missed hot chow and had to listen to the same sad jokes over and over while Bob yelled at us that we weren’t laughing enough and the folks back home need to see that we are having fun. THAT is fake ass bullshit if you ask me. If you think guys sitting on a hilltop “over there” want USO shows you’re nuts. They want showers, hot chow and a blow job. Colin let’s it be known that he is one of those stereotypical “Texan” Texan’s that love guns and the military. Agree with his views or not it isn’t bullshit. Maybe the clerks and supply guys in the rear want USO shows. Guys in the field are happy to get a can of Coke.

      • JVictor75

        Damn skippy. I have (so far) successfully avoided any and all shows that I haven’t been confined to a big grey boat for. And I’m as POG as they come. That is why I think this is cool, and if some idiot retard jackwagon shopping at Hot Topic can rock a Marine Corps uniform shirt portraying him as a Gunnery Sergeant, then I can and will give Colin Edwards a pass for A) wanting to show respect to his buddies, and B) for loving his country.

        Nothing hipsterish “Ironic” about that.

        And if you think that having Colin Edwards show up at Al Asad, Iraq or some other shithole in Afghanistan is going to change that, you are wrong.

      • Dennis

        Yet if the stars the kids really want to see weren’t such narcissists, maybe more of them would lift a finger to help… and then USO tours wouldn’t suck. See how that works?

        Instead they get has beens while the public pats themselves on the back for doing good by the troops. And everyone wears more logos as a symbol of what they’re not doing.

        • JVictor75

          True enough, I guess. Possibly the best USO show I have ever seen was the Zac Brown Band. They were setting up the stage on JBB and we thought they were the roadies. One of my buddies actually approached the “head roadie” (slightly overweight guy with a beard wearing a wool beanie) and asked when the band was going to be on.

          Guy turns to him, smiles, and says “Uhh, in a few seconds.” And then stands up and says, into the microphone “How are y’all doin? I’m Zac Brown, this is my band, and we wanted to come out to show you how much we appreciate your sacrifice and service. Hope y’all enjoy the show.”

          I guess that my point is that Colin Edwards doesn’t have the name recognition that say, Jay-Z, the Zac Brown band, or some other big name celebrity has, so him taking time out of his race and intructional season(s) to go make the roundy-round for the USO tour wouldn’t be as well appreciated.

          Like Jason McCrash, I’ve been on the receiving end of having an unknown celebrity come visit (a couple of times, actually) and unless they’re the Pussycat Dolls, Hooters Girls, NFL cheerleaders, or a band that can put on a show playing songs that most of the crowd have at least heard of the troops will think it’s all just a huge waste of time and effort.

          So, he’s doing what he can. I agree with you about the bumper sticker patriotism. Most of the time it’s just laziness on the part of the person who encrusted their vehicle with them.

          I don’t think that is what this is. He’s said himself that he is friends with a couple of Seals and that he wanted to do this to honor their memory.

          I would actually be MORE skeptical if he was “honoring” a bunch of unknown grunts by wearing their unit crest (or badge, or device, whatever). That, to me, would seem more like “this look (ing) an awful lot like a B list celebrity trying to hitch his star to somebody else more popular”.

          I would venture further to say that, in his sport, Colin Edwards is a fairly well known person. In the grand scheme of things, he’s probably closer to a C-List celeb. But in MotoGP he’s definitely an A-Lister.

          So, here’s a question: If another individual in MotoGP, say Rossi, were to emblazon their helmet with the design of a Symbol of an Armed Forces unit that had lost their lives doing their countries business, would your panties still be in such a wad over it? Or is it only American riders that can’t show support, any support other than some bullshit time-waster like a USO tour where 9 out of 10 people are gonna have no clue who the hell they are?

  • jwinter

    It’s silly to think that liberals don’t like motorsport. This despite the fact that it’s not easy to follow anything aside from NASCAR here in the states.

    As for Colin Edwards, it’s not my business to criticize his motives, opinions or decisions. He can do what he likes regardless of what I think.

    I do find it regrettable that any words aside from unqualified support for the war or the military (especially if it contains no judgments whatsoever) constitutes some sort of treasonous betrayal.

    • isambard

      There’s plenty of liberals who follow it, but my guess is that there aren’t many in the paddock. Most who race at a high level either grew up with money, or had to drag themselves up tooth and nail through lower levels of competition. Neither experience naturally lends itself to a liberal worldview.

      Either way, the kind of liberals who watch motorsport aren’t the type that get their knickers in a twist over a helmet design, in my experience.

  • rohorn

    At least this is on a racer’s helmet rather than mass produced pleather vests.

    • isambard

      Best comment ever.

  • http://www.damiengaudet.blogspot.com damien

    I guess the helmet worked – 3rd in 1st practice bitches! ha. unfortunately, can’t see that holding up on Sun.

  • zato1414

    Two thumbs up for Colin and his “Tribute” to fallen warriors. They support every persons freedom of choice and they do it knowing they could lose their lives everyday.

    Some of these racers are not grown mature adults. It is totally phony to plant stickers on their primo motorcycle and then not want to visit Japan. You don’t hear any Japanese people complaining, so man-up get your wimpy asses over there and give them a few days of “Support”.