A Big 10 university football team has come under fire for specially designed uniforms to support a wounded veterans program with a controversial pattern that looks like a “flag covered in blood.”
But Northwestern University and Under Armor — the uniform’s designer — say this interpretation was never their intention for the uniforms honoring the Wounded Warrior Project.
Under Armor says the Wildcat’s uniform pattern isn’t blood spatter, but “distressed.”
“The Northwestern University football uniforms designed by Under Armour in support of Wounded Warrior Project feature an authentic distressed pattern which depicts a flag that has flown proudly over a long period of time,” Under Armor said in a statement, according to SB Nation.
While the pattern in the red- and white-striped section easily draws the eye, a closer inspection reveals the spattered pattern continues into the blue stars as well.
“As you can see from the close-ups there is nearly as much blue splatter inside the stars, as well. One man’s appearance of blood splatter is another’s ‘edgy’ (read: ‘bad’) design,” Chuck Sudo of Chicagoist wrote of the uniform controversy.
In place of players’ names stitched on the back of the jerseys, core values will be featured instead: duty, honor, courage, commitment, integrity, country and service.
“The special Northwestern University football uniforms designed by Under Armour in support of the Wounded Warrior Project feature a distressed pattern on both the stars and stripes that was inspired by the appearance of a flag that has flown proudly over a long period of time. We apologize for any misinterpretation,” Northwestern officials said in a statement, according to SB Nation.
The jerseys are being sold online with 10 percent of the proceeds going to the Wounded Warrior Project. Those worn by players during Northwestern’s November 16 game against the University of Michigan will be auctioned with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the nonprofit.
Check out Northwestern’s promotional video for the Wounded Warrior Project jerseys:
Since 2009, Under Armor Freedom has designed uniforms for Division I football teams in honor of the Wounded Warrior Project.
Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald unveiled his team’s uniforms in a press conference Monday: