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Verdict: Modified St. George’s Cross on England Kits is a Non-Issue

Verdict: Modified St. George’s Cross on England Kits is a Non-Issue

Summer is already upon us, and that can only mean that Euro 2024 is just around the corner. The National teams are already on the move to unveil their kits for the tournament. On Monday, Nike launched the England home and away kits, and with it, sparked yet another round of controversies. It seems like Nike just can’t seem to catch a break.

The American sports brand tweeted the launch of the new kits, but things took a turn when they revealed an updated version of the iconic St. George cross of England. Making specific reference to the ‘new’ flag, Nike captioned: ‘A playful update to the St. George appears on the collar to unite and inspire.’

The cross is part of English heritage, and we are accustomed to seeing it in red against a white background. However, Nike chose a different approach by replacing the traditional red cross with a multicolored one. While the vertical line retains its red color, the horizontal line has been redesigned with navy blue, light blue, and pink. This was enough to trigger the patriotism of many Englishmen.

According to Nike, the Euro kits would ‘celebrate football heroes of the past with a modern twist.’ Well, by the looks of it, it’s definitely not the twist some England fans were waiting for. They have criticized Nike for pushing the culture of a ‘woke’ agenda within their football kits.

The concept of “woke culture” has indeed become prevalent in the football world. Derived from African-American Vernacular English, it generally signifies being “alert to racial prejudice and discrimination.” Football has consistently stood by this ethos, whether through actions like taking a knee before matches or wearing anti-discrimination armbands. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that US-based organizations like Nike should incorporate this into their kit designs, particularly by altering the emblem of the St. George cross.

And people have come forth to raise their voice against it. Not only for patriotism, some well-known faces have found it as an opportunity to slip in their political agendas as well.

How did people react on Twitter?

A fuming Twitter has become convinced that this tampering with a small flag on the national attire must be viewed as a conflict of interest in the cultures.

And if any controversy arises, it’s not possible that Joey Barton will not have an opinion about it. He tweeted, pointing out the hypocrisy of Nike, questioning why England’s emblem has to get a new ‘Rainbow-fy’ color scheme when the emblems of the USA national team or the France national team remain unchanged. These are places where this woke culture is apparently much more prevalent.

This is probably one of those rare occasions when Barton wasn’t without support, with fans suggesting Nike had ‘defiled the national flag’. There have been a number of voices regarding this as a highly disgraceful act from Nike, a dishonor to England and its heritage, with people tagging it as “ridiculous” and awful.

So much so that people are disgusted, with voices rising appealing to boycott any Nike product until they change the cross back. Additionally, people have appealed to the England Football Board to consider terminating the Nike kit contract and revert back to Umbro.

As a matter of fact, comedian Jason Manford has also echoed the same idea, tweeting: “This is not gonna go down well! What a weird thing to do though! A US company having a cheeky play with another country’s flag. Let’s go back to Umbro I say, we won the World Cup in that kit.”

Some believe the modified St. George’s Cross is a non-issue

But as they say, there are always two sides to a coin.

Some users on have pointed out the hypocrisy of the England supporters now, noting that the people who are now vehemently opposing the tampering of their emblem are the same ones who continue to deface it to show their England fandom in the stadium.

Moreover, this is not the first time nor the only instance where the St. George’s Cross has been incorporated into their kit in a different color shade.

People have pointed out that back in 2011, Umbro also introduced the concept of incorporating small multi colored crosses on the shoulder of the white kit.

There have been several other instances where variations in the shade of the cross have occurred.

So, why this sudden outrage this time? Perhaps because “woke” culture wasn’t as prevalent back then. But people are adamant in their decision not to buy it and have demanded answers from Nike.

According to sourced information, Nike has stated that the color choices for the kit were partly a nod to England’s 1966 triumph and not related to any agendas. Nike has no intentions of recalling the kits from the market.

Then Nike better be prepared for a dip in their purchase record of the England Euro Kit. Moreover, with the authentic kit priced at £124.99 for adults and a whopping £119.99 for children, Nike probably wasn’t hoping for a lot of sales either.