Adidas is banning the number '44' on German soccer team jerseys over concerns that the design loo... - 3 minutes read

The German national soccer team's jersey is stirring controversy over the number "4" on its design.People say it looks like a lightning bolt from the SS, a Nazi unit in World War II.Adidas said it's blocked fans from making jerseys with the "44," and an alternative design is being developed.

Thanks for signing up!

Access your favorite topics in a personalized feed while you're on the go.

download the app

Adidas has removed the option for fans to customize their soccer jerseys with the number "44" amid concerns that a design for the German national team resembles a Nazi symbol.

The design of the digit "4" on jerseys sold online by the German Football Association has prompted some to think it looks like the lightning bolts in the flag of the Schutzstaffel, the paramilitary guard under Adolf Hitler.

Known widely as the SS, this unit was responsible for many of the war crimes and atrocities committed by Nazi Germany in World War II.

Much of the attention on the jerseys came after Saturday, when Michael König, a historian in Germany, wrote on X that it was "questionable" for the design to be allowed in official sporting events.

While Germany's team is unlikely to field 44 players, fans could customize their ordered jerseys with whatever number they wished.

This picture taken on July 17, 2023 shows a graffito of a Nazi SS symbol on a monument in memory of 55 people executed at this site by the Nazis in 1944 during World War II, in Ploeuc-L'Hermitage, some 20km south of Saint-Brieuc, western France.

DAMIEN MEYER/AFP via Getty Images

Adidas told the BBC that the jerseys were designed by the German Football Association and weren't intentionally made to look like the SS logo.

"We as a company are committed to opposing xenophobia, antisemitism, violence, and hatred in every form," an Adidas spokesperson told the BBC.

The German Football Association wrote in a Monday post on X that it checked the design of all digits from 0 through 9, and submitted the the jerseys of the German national team to the Union of European Football Associations.

"None of the parties involved saw any proximity to Nazi symbolism in the development process of the jersey design," the association wrote.

However, it said it would develop an alternative design for the digit "4" on the team kit.

Adidas, headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany, has developed the country's soccer jerseys for decades but is set to be replaced by rival Nike in 2027.

The contract is expected to cost Nike about $108 million per year.

Adidas did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent outside regular business hours by Business Insider.

Source: Business Insider

Powered by