Germany Bans Adidas from Selling Number 44 Shirt Due to Nazi SS Connotations

Changing the Number Four: Adidas and the German Football Association Address Controversy

The German Football Association (DFB) has decided to redesign the number ‘4’ on Adidas national shirts after controversy over its similarity to the symbol used by the SS, the Nazi paramilitary units. This decision came after social media users began creating T-shirts with the number ’44’, which resembled the Schutzstaffel logo. The DFB announced that they will work with their partner 11teamsports to create an alternative design for the number four that complies with UEFA rules.

Although the number 44 is not currently used by the German men’s or women’s teams, Adidas allowed customers to personalize jerseys with numbers and names. Images of jerseys with the number 44 were widely shared online, prompting Adidas to quickly block the option to customize jerseys with this number. An Adidas spokesperson emphasized the company’s opposition to xenophobia, anti-Semitism, violence, and hate in any form. As of Tuesday, the customization option for German team jerseys has been removed from Adidas’ websites, while it remains active for other nations’ kits.

The move to create an alternative design for the number four demonstrates a commitment to addressing concerns raised by the public regarding potentially offensive imagery. It is important for sports organizations and brands to be mindful of their designs and customization options in order to avoid any associations with controversial symbols and uphold values of inclusivity and respect in football.

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