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

The German football authorities have decided to redesign the number ‘4’ on Adidas national shirts following 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 German Football Association (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 decision to redesign the number ‘4’ on the national shirts was made to avoid any associations with controversial symbols and to uphold the values of inclusivity and respect in football. It is important for sports organizations and brands to be mindful of the potential impact of their designs and customization options. 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.

By Samantha Robertson

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