Northwestern University’s new football uniforms are causing quite a splash: They’re solid gray, dotted with images of the U.S. flag – then splattered with simulated blood.
The fake bloody flag image is on the helmet, gloves, pants and shoes. And the space on the jersey that normally contains the players’ names will instead include one of these words: Duty, honor, commitment, courage, country, integrity or service.
The school’s calling them the new Wounded Warrior special edition, made by Maryland-based Under Armor.
The unis will make their field debut this Saturday, when the Wildcats play Michigan, the blog Raycom News Network reported. Ten percent of proceeds from the special edition jerseys that are sold will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project.
Still, the sports news outlet Deadspin hates the uniform, describing the new design as an “asymmetrical patriotic mishmash.”
One writer for Deadspin asks: “Isn’t ‘flag covered in blood’ a little on-the-nose for something honoring a group that operates programs for injured veterans?”
But Bleacher Report loves them, with one writer describing the new digs as “classy” and “sharp-looking,” and a long-overdue hat tip to the nation’s military.
“The men and women who sacrifice their freedom by serving in the military far too often go unheralded for their exploits,” Bleacher Report’s Jesse Reed wrote. “Those who return home after injuring themselves in the line of duty deserve even more gratitude and praise and any chance we have to honor them, we should.”
And yet one more sports authority weighed in with a more neutral reaction.
“It’s not all that good-looking,” said Yahoo Sports columnist Nick Bromberg. “There’s such a thing as too much American flag accents. It’s for a good cause, but those duds are garish.”
The public, meanwhile, seems similarly split, with one poster on Deadspin decried “fake blood is for fake patriots” – while another wrote on a YouTube site that “these are beast.”
Take a look for yourself: