Special uniforms cause controversy

Some say red in patriotic uniforms show blood splotches

Published On: Dec 24 2013 03:13:16 PM EST   Updated On: Nov 06 2013 10:10:00 PM EST
Northwestern University uniform
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

A special uniform for Northwestern University’s football team has become the subject of controversy. The uniform will raise funds for the Jacksonville based Wounded Warrior Project, but some aren’t happy about the way the uniform looks.

The company, Under Armour, designed the uniform for the team’s Nov. 16 game against Michigan. Northwestern is trading their traditional purple for red, white and blue. The problem is that some people say the red splotches on the uniform look like blood stains.

A school spokesman said the design represents a “distressed pattern on both the stars and stripes that was inspired by the appearance of a flag that was flown proudly over a long period of time.”

The Wounded Warrior Project released this statement to Channel 4 about the uniforms:

“Wounded Warrior Project is proud to partner with Under Armour.  Over the years, Under Armour has not only contributed over $3.3 million in monetary and product support, but they have repeatedly demonstrated their commitment to supporting this generation of injured service members through action and engagement.  Under Armour has donated more than 7,000 backpacks full of comfort items delivered bedside to injured service members at military medical facilities; they have hired more than a dozen Wounded Warrior Project Alumni; they have sponsored hiring fairs to provide job opportunities for veterans; and they regularly host wounded veterans for monthly workouts at their training facilities, teaching warriors about the importance of exercise and living a healthy lifestyle.

This year Under Armour designed collegiate football uniforms in support of Wounded Warrior Project that feature an authentic distressed pattern, depicting a flag that has flown proudly over a long period of time.  The athletes’ last names on each of the jerseys were replaced with one of Wounded Warrior Project’s seven core values: country, service, honor, duty, courage, commitment or integrity, spreading awareness for the organization’s mission.

The game-worn jerseys are then auctioned off on the university's website following the game, with 100% of the proceeds supporting Wounded Warrior Project.  In addition, Under Armour recognizes Wounded Warriors by having special honorary team captains on the field, encouraging players with their messages of resiliency and determination.

Under Armour’s tremendous support allows us to continue to focus on the lifelong challenges facing this generation of wounded veterans and their families, including the often tough transition to civilian employment, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the benefits backlog and the long-term care of the most severely injured.”

The game-worn jerseys will be auctioned off after the game. Proceeds will go toward helping wounded veterans through the Wounded Warrior Project.