The Bridgeport Bluefish of the independent Atlantic League should be commended for hosting Military Appreciation Night at an upcoming home game at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard. It's a very noble promotion that will bring awareness and attention to men and women who deserve recognition.
However, we can't help but scratch our heads after taking a good look at the custom jerseys the team designed for the special event.
Here they are:
The Bluefish Military Appreciation jersey design. Pretty original! What do you think? pic.twitter.com/c9iN8Kuxfi— Ken Shepard (@bluefishgm) July 25, 2014
Well, that appears to be a jersey depicting a shirtless white male with chiseled abs. Nipples included!
Yes, this is most definitely original. But is it really the look they should be going for, and does it truly capture the essence of what the military stands for? That's the debate that's been going on since the jerseys first popped on Twitter late Friday afternoon, and many of the responses indicate the Bluefish probably missed their intended mark.
The worst part of that Bridgeport Bluefish Military Appreciation uni may be the idea that military's only white/male https://t.co/WY1H6HYbEd— Matt English (@matttomic) July 25, 2014
It's like the Bluefish designers said, "what's military-ish?" and then another guy said, "I got it! The volleyball scene from Top Gun!"— Justin Bopp (@justinbopp) July 25, 2014
The direct responses to general manager Ken Shepard's original tweet were a little more harsh, but the sentiments were the same.
It's clear what the Bluefish wanted to do. They wanted to create something special and original with these jerseys to get people talking. They've definitely accomplished that, but in this case they would have been better off keeping it simple and just letting the gesture speak for itself.
We're sure they didn't intend to overlook men of other races and the women who also represent the military. We're sure their heart was in the right place when they were brainstorming ideas. But the execution was flawed and unfortunately left them with a jersey that is being received negatively, getting joked about, and will become as much a focus of the event as the men and women they are attempting to honor.
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