Writes Roland Walkenhorst:
I just sat down to watch my alma mater Mizzou take on Texas Tech. Instead of the normal player names across the backs of the TT players, tonight they all say “Freedom,” thanks to special uniforms supplied by Under Armour (“head-to-toe custom digi-camouflage,” whatever that is).
Here’s UA’s Brian Offutt touting the company’s UA Freedom corporate initiative to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project. I suppose there’s nothing wrong with helping the poor guys who were conned into the military, but I could do without the cheerleading. Offutt says UA Freedom is intended to “support the troops, military, and government.” I think I’ll decline. As of this writing, Freedom is losing, 14–3.
UPDATE from Travis White, TTU ’05:
9:11 am on November 7, 2010
As an alumnus of Texas Tech, I have to say I was absolutely embarrassed by the uniforms we wore last night. I’m not the only Red Raider who was horrified to find out we were wearing them, either. Although I admit, most will just mindlessly parrot the “That’s a good cause!” line or say they look cool (which they really didn’t).
But this has been a huge problem for football in general for a long time, both college and professional. They are so in bed with the military that it can make an anti-war anarchist like me want to just change the channel. The relationship exists for the obvious reason that lots of young men watch football, and young men are the prime candidates for cannon fodder. There are always ads from all branches of the military all over football games, huge, ridiculous, militaristic demonstrations before them, and the announcers always seem to mention that they–and everyone at home–supports the military (speak for yourself!).
I know that all sports engage in this to some degree. But football is easily the worst about it. Football is by far my favorite sport, but it is really getting tough for me to stomach it anymore because of its connection to the military. The stupid Wounded Warrior travesties we wore last night just show that it’s getting even worse.