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Jersey Number Ban: Adidas's Response to Historical Symbolism

Jersey Number Ban: Adidas's Response to Historical Symbolism
Jersey Number Ban: Adidas's Response to Historical Symbolism

Adidas has banned the personalization of the German national team jersey with the number "44" following concerns raised by historian Michael König. The historian noted the resemblance between the number "44" and the symbol of the Schutzstaffel (SS), a notorious Nazi organization responsible for atrocities during the Holocaust.

König's observation gained widespread attention on social media, prompting numerous media reports and criticism of Adidas. The company responded by stating its commitment to diversity and inclusion, and its rejection of any association with divisive or exclusionary views.

Adidas also clarified that the design of the jersey's names and numbers was the responsibility of the German Football Association (DFB) and its partner, 11teamsports. The DFB, in turn, stated that it reviewed the numbers and did not identify any resemblance to Nazi symbolism during the design process.

Despite the oversight, the DFB and 11teamsports have announced plans to work on an alternative design for the number 4. König commended Adidas's prompt response and emphasized the importance of preventing the expression of right-wing views through symbols like the "44".

The issue gained significance due to Germany hosting the UEFA European Championship this summer. König expressed concern that the jersey should not carry any association with the country's darkest period. The decision to ban the number "44" underscores the sensitivity and responsibility surrounding historical symbols and their potential impact on public discourse.

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