adidas Bans Sale of German Football Kits With Number 44 Due To Nazi Symbolism

Many pointed out the numbers’ similarities to the Nazi Schutzstaffel (SS) Armanen rune symbol.

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Football fans will no longer be allowed to purchase adidas‘ customized German football kits with the number 44 following criticisms of its similarities to a Nazi symbol.

According to reports, many have compared the font used in the number 44 kits to that of the Nazi Schutzstaffel (SS) Armanen rune symbol. The SS operated under Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party, and was known to be one of the biggest perpetrators in the Holocaust. Historian Michael König was the first to point out the issue and called the kits’ design “very questionable.”

Oliver Brüggen, a spokesperson for adidas, clarified that any similarities were not deliberate, “People from around 100 countries work at Adidas. Our company stands for the promotion of diversity and inclusion, and as a company we actively campaign against xenophobia, anti-Semitism, violence and hatred in all forms.” He added, “Any attempts to promote divisive or exclusionary views are not part of our values as a brand.” The footwear giant also told BBC in a separate statement that the German Football Association (DFB) and its partners were responsible for the kits’ designs.

The DFB took to X to state that the numbers were sent to the UEFA for review, and that “[n]one of the parties involved saw any proximity to Nazi symbolism in the creation process of the jersey design.” They continued, “Nevertheless, we take the comments very seriously and do not want to provide a platform for discussions. We will develop an alternative design for the number 4 and coordinate it with UEFA.”

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