Adidas Blocks Number 44 From German Soccer Jerseys

Critics said it was too close to SS logo
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2024 4:10 PM CDT

German soccer fans can buy replicas of the national team's jerseys with any number between 00 and 99—except 44. The number was pulled from sale after people on social media pointed out that it strongly resembled the logo of the SS, the organization that carried out many of the Nazi regime's worst atrocities, CNN reports. In a post on X, the DFB, Germany's national soccer association, said it checked the numbers 0 to 9 and submitted the numbers 0 to 26 to UEFA for review. "None of the parties involved saw any proximity to Nazi symbolism in the development process of the jersey design," the DFB said.

The DFB said it takes the issue "very seriously" and it plans to redesign the number 4 on the jerseys. The kit is made by Adidas, which pledged to "block the number 44 as quickly as possible" after complaints surfaced, Reuters reports. "As a company we actively oppose xenophobia, anti-Semitism, violence, and hatred in any form," Adidas spokesman Oliver Bruggen said.

Adidas, which has made the German team's jerseys since the 1950s, said the numbers were designed by the DFB and its partners. The BBC reports that the national team's new kit has also been criticized for using bright pink as the away color, which critics describe as "untraditional." The DFB has also been criticized as unpatriotic for its recent decision to drop Adidas and use jerseys made by Nike, the company's American rival, starting in 2027. (More Germany stories.)

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