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NCAA Football: Northwestern Wildcats to wear “controversial” Stars and Stripes Uniforms


 

Northwestern will wear these newly designed stars and stripes uniforms made by Under Armour that a feature a "controversial" blood spatter design on one of the gloves and the back of the helmet. (Source: ESPN Chicago via Darren Rovell)
Northwestern will wear these newly designed stars and stripes uniforms made by Under Armour that a feature a controversial “blood spatter” design on one of the gloves and the back of the helmet. (Source: ESPN Chicago via Darren Rovell)

The Northwestern Wildcats will wear stars and stripes uniforms for the tomorrow game against the Michigan Wolverines. The uniforms will be worn to honor the veterans but they are also evoking mixed reactions from the public. Other teams will be sporting similar designs.

In his article on the topic, Paul Lukas of ESPN made some interesting points, calling into question if the uniforms are truly patriotic or self-promoting. He also calls into question the “blood spatter” design. Is it clearly offensive? There are a few critics pointing to the “blood” design as both disrespectful and self-promoting. The supporters are claiming that the uniforms are both very unique and creative. The supporters also claim the uniforms are not offensive in any manner.

The "blood spatter" design on the pants. (Source Paul Lukas, ESPN)
The “blood spatter” design on the pants. (Source Paul Lukas, ESPN)

 

The "blood spatter" design seen on the shoulder pads and helmet. The "blood design" is receiving both positive and negative feedback. Under Armour claims it is not blood spatter at all. (Source: Paul Lukas, ESPN)
The “blood spatter” design seen on the shoulder pads and helmet. The “blood design” is receiving both positive and negative feedback. Under Armour claims it is not blood spatter at all. (Source: Paul Lukas, ESPN)

This is part of Under Armour’s five year partnership with the Wounded Warrior Project. Under Armour rigorously defended the uniforms saying they show their deepest gratitude for the bravery of the men and women of the entire United States military.

Matt Mirchin, Senior Vice President of Global Marketing for Under Armour, said the images are not blood spatter at all. He claims the images are actually of American flags being flown in harsh conditions.

Matt Mirchin claims the design is American flags flown in harsh conditions. (Source: Megan Wilson, Counterkicks.com)
Matt Mirchin claims the design is American flags flown in harsh conditions. (Source: Megan Wilson, Counterkicks.com)

This has been a hot topic on sports talk shows. On Cleveland’s WTAM 1100, Mike Trivisonno intensely disagreed with the premise that the uniforms are extremely disrespectful and offensive, saying people need to get a life. He thinks that it is a group of people that are dissatisfied with their lives and are trying to bring such depression onto other people.

According to an article by John Kekis of the Associated Press, one Vietnam Veteran disapproves of the new uniforms.

Norm Linden, a Vietnam Veteran who graduated from Norwich University, the military’s oldest private military college, said, ” I’m as patriotic as anyone but to me all this excessive flag waving, Thank you for your service, ; and stuff like that is just over the top.” “Does every sporting event these days have become a mini Nuremburg rally?” He thinks that discounts on tickets or free replica jerseys suffice.

This trend could continue for some time and so could the debate over these uniforms.

The Wildcats (4-5, 0-5) need some sort of rally to turn their season around. This could be what the doctor ordered. They are on a 5 game losing streak and have yet to win a conference game. The Michigan Wolverines are  6-3 overall, 2-3 in the Big Ten

 

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