Mississippi State, adidas apologize for ‘F–k The School Up North’ shirts (pics)
Mississippi State athletic director Scott Stricklin on Thursday issued a formal apology for a shirt that was worn by members of the Bulldogs baseball team which featured a profane message directed at in-state rival Ole Miss. adidas, the shirt’s designer, later apologized for its role in the smack talk shirt as well.
The seemingly innocuous shirts, introduced on Thursday as commemorative warmups, featured a logo that bore the message, “VIVA STARK VEGAS” and scattered marquee-like dots. Upon closer examination, the dots on the shirt spelled out various messages. But the one causing all the uproar is the salvo, “F–k The School Up North,” which can be seen when the shirt is viewed upside down.
Once the message was noticed, Stricklin took to Twitter to apologize.
“This afternoon it came to my attention that a shirt provided to our baseball team by adidas has an inappropriate phrase written on it.,” Stricklin said in a series of tweets, via the Clarion-Ledger. “This is completely unacceptable and does not reflect the standards and values of Mississippi State University or its athletic dept. For anyone who was offended by this shirt, as I was, please accept our apologies and rest assured that this has been rectified.”
adidas followed suit with its own statement:
“We apologize to Mississippi State, their student-athletes, fans and alumni for this error,” read adidas’ statement submitted to the Clarion-Ledger. “The Bulldogs’ baselayer graphic today featured old artwork that was never presented to the university. This graphic does not reflect our brand values nor those of Mississippi State. We take full responsibility for this error and wish Mississippi State the best of luck during Super Bulldog Weekend.”
The entire ordeal obviously was done in jest and wasn’t intended to be a good-natured jab at the rival Rebels, but the lack of foresight regarding how the message might be interpreted is somewhat surprising to say the least.
[H/T Deadspin, image credit: Michael Bonner/Twitter]