Greed is good, at least if you are the NFL and NBA. Two of the four major sports leagues in the U.S. love to rake in the profits that come from jersey sales, even if they come at the discomfort or disapproval of the players.
After the NBA started to use a new line of jerseys in the 2013 regular season, the NFL has now decided to join the revenue-generating uniform redesign bandwagon for select Thursday night games for the remainder of the current season.
Beginning in 2013, the NBA decided to experiment with jerseys that have capped sleeves for its annual Christmas Day games. You probably looked at this idea as unique, maybe even a jersey that some teams wear once per year.
But that was only the beginning.
The players’ reactions to the jerseys were mainly ones of annoyance, with Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki tweeting, “call me old school but these jerseys with sleeves are awful,” and LeBron James walking to the locker room on Christmas Day saying “I can’t shoot with these!”
Even with the disapproval from the players, the NBA has since expanded the use of the capped sleeves. Many teams are now using the sleeved jerseys as alternates in their regular jersey rotation throughout the season.
The Warriors might be the team that has benefitted most, with revenues jumping 93 percent after announcing they would use an all-black sleeved jersey with white trim. I do not think a jersey is going to stop the Warriors’ stars. Sleeves or not, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are going to have no problem averaging 20 points per game.
The Cavaliers, on the other hand, have announced that they too will use an all-black, sleeved uniform as an alternate in 2015- 2016. Remember how unhappy James was two years ago? I do not think it is a good idea to poke at the bear that you are paying $23 million this year.
Now, the NFL thinks it can jump on the bandwagon of outlandish jerseys. In what are being dubbed “Color Rush” jerseys, the NFL will have eight newer, brighter jerseys to be worn by teams in four Thursday night games this year.
Some of these jerseys, like the one the New York Jets will wear, resemble vintage throwback uniforms that we are accustomed to seeing certain teams wear occasionally.
Then there are the Jacksonville Jaguars. You know that terrible shade of yellow you mark up your textbooks with? Yeah, they are going to look like that.
The St. Louis Rams will not look much better, but at least they will be sporting a spinoff of their 1990s uniforms.
Why are leagues so obsessed with controlling what the players wear? I understand the value of money. As a college student, believe me, I do.
But let the players wear what they want.
There is no point in fining someone for wearing something representing their family or their hometown.
Just stop it, NFL and NBA.
It is time to put revenue on the backburner. Let the players be individuals.
Kevin Huebler is from Forked River, N.J. and is a broadcasting major. He can be reached at kevin.huebler@ student.shu.edu or on Twitter Hueb- lerkevin.