Kevin Ware Shirt: Adidas Smart to Pull Controversial Shirt from Shelves
It's just a shame Adidas is no longer going to be able to profit from Kevin Ware's injury.
By now, most people are aware of the company producing a shirt to "pay tribute" to Ware after his broken leg in the Elite Eight. Of course, Ware himself wouldn't see a dime of the profits from the shirt because that would be an infraction of NCAA rules.
This caused quite a bit of negative feedback among sports fans and simply people who could see the stupidity of the whole situation.
Luckily, Dan Wolken of USA Today wrote that Adidas has chosen to pull the shirt from production:
The fact the company left the reasoning so vague likely means the sheer volume of criticism about the shirt had a say in the decision as well.
People shouldn't have been shocked at the fact Adidas would make a shirt like this. It was the same company who thought producing a Dwight Howard "Loyalty" t-shirt last summer was a good idea (h/t Ben Golliver of CBSSports.com). Clearly, foresight is not a trait Adidas asks of from its workers.
If Adidas wants to put some sort of inspirational slogan on Louisville players' warmups, that's fine. The company isn't going to profit off of those. It's a different situation entirely when it chooses to make a t-shirt for mass production.
College sports are beginning to hit a critical mass. At a certain point, you have to ask yourself when is enough, enough.
Was Adidas right to make a shirt in tribute to Kevin Ware?
Is it the fact that the NCAA can profit off the success of college sports' biggest stars in the form of jersey sales, television money, ticket sales and bowl/NCAA tournament payouts? How about the fact that the NCAA has a player's image rights in perpetuity? It can use his image for anything without his consent for as long as it wants to.
In spite of it all, the organization has managed to actually hit a new low with this one. Even the most staunch defender of refusing to pay college athletes should see the hypocrisy of the whole thing.
There's no telling how much money Ware has given the Cardinals and the NCAA by virtue of his getting on the court and helping Louisville get to the Final Four. Surely it's more than the scholarship and subsequent stipends he receives.
Then he suffers a catastrophic injury, and an entirely new revenue stream opens for all parties involved, except Ware. Louisville, Adidas and the NCAA could all have hypothetically profited from shirt sales. The player who suffered the injury that inspired said shirt wouldn't have seen a cent.
Here's to hoping Ware makes a full recovery and the NCAA can just profit off of him the old-fashioned way.
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