Red And White, Black And Blue

By Gary Norris Gray
Updated: May 8, 2008

CALIFORNIA — There is a new major trend with Major League Baseball. Teams are now wearing alternate Sunday jersey’s or so-called third jerseys. In fact, the NBA, NHL, NFL, and even the NCAA are marketing their new products and producing different appearance on the field and on the courts.

But is this a profit grabbing stunt or a gimmick to promote their teams?

There is also a darker side to these uniform changes. This may be an innocent effort, but it’s having a completely adverse affect on some youth and is beginning to have troubling affiliation ties to Black, Latino, and Asian gangs.

Red uniforms and caps represent the color of the Bloods. In baseball, it’s the Phillies, Reds, Angels, Braves, Red Sox, Nationals, and Cardinals all have all red uniforms which they only wear on Sundays.

In hockey, it’s the Flames, Hurricanes, Red Wings, Canadians, Devils, Senators, and Capitals. In basketball, it’s the Bulls, Nets (third jersey), Pistons (third jersey), Rockets, and Heat (third jersey). In football, it’s the Chiefs, Giants (third jersey), Cardinals, and 49ers.

Many fans may have never thought about this phenomenon.

More and more young minority males are wearing these jersey yet they are unfamiliar with any other teams or a single player on that team because I’ve inquired a few times. These young men state they love the colors but they omit the real reason why they are wearing these colors

Black represents the color of the Crips organization. But in baseball, it’s the Yankees (navy jersey), Marlins, Braves (third jersey), Mets (Saturday jersey), A’s (new 2008 jersey), Rockies, Orioles, Diamondbacks, and Brewers.

In hockey, it’s the Bruins, Blackhawks (third jersey), Stars (third jersey), Sharks (third jersey), Flyers (third jersey), Lightning, Penguins, and Kings. In football, it’s the Saints, Panthers, Lions (third jersey), Bears, Eagles (third jersey), Steelers, Raiders, Falcons, Jaguars, and Ravens

In basketball, it’s the Hawks, Bulls(third jersey) Heat, Wizards (third jersey), Trail Blazers, Sixers (third jersey),Magic, Pacers, Celtics (third jersey) and Spurs.

In college, it represents Duke basketball (third black jersey), Nebraska football (both black and red jerseys), Stanford basketball (third black jersey), Maryland basketball (third black jersey), Rutgers football and basketball (both black and red jerseys), Cincinnati basketball (black and red), and Tennessee football (third black jersey).

These aren’t their teams’ colors. You don’t have this problem in high school. They have to wear the colors of their school. The school cannot add or delete a color. They don’t have this problem in high schools because most states prohibit them from adding colors to their uniforms.

My high school was a classic case for this new high school rule. In the late 60’s an throughout the 70’s Burlington High School added red trim to all of their uniforms and it was not the school color but it made the uniforms look flashy and respectable.

In 1979-1980 BCHS went back to their regular and original colors of sky blue and white All of the teams in this article excluding my high school either wear BLACK or RED uniforms and they are becoming very popular among inner city gangs. African, Latino, and Asian American young males are seen everyday with these sports jersey.

It is also very profitable, for MLB, NHL, NFL, NBA, and the NCAA when a young consumer enters a sports store and purchases 40 or 50 BLACK OR RED jerseys and caps. The cash registers are ringing off the hook all over this country.

We need to know what the policies on professional teams are relating to their new or alternative uniforms. The Commissioner of each league must take a serious position on third or so called Sunday jerseys. Obviously profit prevails over morals, which is the question of the day in our country.

The America sports industry needs to answer this question.