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Northwestern's ‘Wounded Warrior’ uniforms are an insulting money grabbing act

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Macabre uniforms designed by Under Armour and set to be worn by Northwestern are meant to honor the veterans of the military, but in fact are nothing more than an ugly and indeed insulting money-grabbing venture, something college football is very good at.

New Northwestern uniform

On November 16th Northwestern will wear a unique uniform in their game against Michigan. The outfit is being described as a ‘Wounded Warrior’ uniform, and a salute to patriotism and the brave fighting men and women of the United States of America.

This ‘salute to America’ has all the subtlety of a sledge-hammer and will no doubt be a wild hit with salivating sports anchors across America on game-day.

In this day and age, it is tantamount to treason to even remotely question anything as ‘glaringly patriotic’ as this, but, if you will allow me to get up on my soap box for a moment or two, let’s have a look at a few of the factors that make this one of the most crass attempts at merchandise flogging in recent memory.

First of all, to the uniform design itself. The brain dead monkey genius in Under Armour who came up with this design should spend a little time walking around military hospitals showing wounded veterans the drawings of his or her creation. It would be interesting to see how young, injured and often horribly mutilated veterans would react to a uniform that actually depicts their blood being shed on the ground.

Just marvel for a second at the sheer stupidity of this concept,

Blood spatter.

On a uniform intended to honor injured military service veterans.

Really?

Second, the finance of this operation would make most Mafia bosses blush. It is no secret that sales of merchandise attached to this project will go into the pockets of the University's football program, the NCAA and Under Armour to the tune of 90%. The Wounded Warrior program? They get 10%. Effectively a little chump change, broken off to pass this whole disgusting venture off as charity of sorts.
 


Above all else, it isn’t the fact that these jerseys are completely insensitive to the potential battlefield trauma suffered by veterans of the cause they are supposed to honor, and it isn’t even the disgusting fact that only 10% of the sales will go to the charity, it’s the sheer arrogance on display in the sale of this merchandise that stinks the worst.

Let’s be crystal clear here: if you buy one of these jerseys you are not progressing some kind of noble, patriotic act. You are not making America any safer from terrorism. To be 100% clear here, you are simply lining the pockets of a rich football program, a wildly rich institution and a super-rich clothing company.

If you just think they are ‘super awesome’ jerseys, and you just want to wear one as you drink your Coors Lite, great, knock yourself out. Please, just spare us the patriotic sanctimony. Giving 90% of your presumably hard-earned money to corporations is not a patriotic act. We looked it up. In no shape or form does doing this mean you are being even 1% more patriotic than yesterday.

In fact, you are possibly being less patriotic, as the time spent buying and wearing said jersey could instead have been spent volunteering at a homeless veterans food kitchen or visiting elderly veterans or volunteering at a center for the rehabilitation of injured, mutilated veterans.

That ties into my last point.

Genuine and meaningful philanthropic opportunities are scattered all around us, in a myriad of shapes and forms. If you really want to do some good in the world, there are literally a billion things you could do that would have a more positive effect than sending giving Northwestern’s football program, the NCAA and the clothing company Under Armour $9 out of every $10 you spend on their merchandise.

Go forth and find one. You will feel the better for it (and, you will be a little less out of pocket too, probably!).


Follow Cormac on Twitter

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