‘Harambe’ now permitted for customized jerseys after brief ban
Fans hankering to ride on the coattails of one of the most popular Internet memes of late by customizing their sports jerseys with the name “Harambe,” rejoice. Fanatics, who operates the official online shops for the four major professional sports, have announced using the name of the slain Cincinnati Zoo gorilla is now permitted.
ESPN has learned that the original banning of “Harambe” stemmed from an official from an unidentified Major League Baseball contacting Fanatics to express concern over fans using the name to mock the controversial kissing of the gorilla that occurred after a child fell into its habitat.
Fanatics spokesman Meier Raivich indicated a company employee unilaterally placed “Harambe” on the banned list of words of their own volition. Banned words typically involve slang or profanity or other potentially offensive terms.
News quickly spread this week about the name being banned, specifically concerning how customers could not use “Harambe” on NFL Shop.
@darrenrovell Sad but true #RIPHarambe pic.twitter.com/nE4okY5ULC
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) September 14, 2016
Once Fanatics officials were made aware of the situation, “Harambe” was removed from the list of banned words.
One has to have been living under a rock to have not seen how “Harambe” has taken the Internet by storm and even seen its influence spread into pro sports. Video from a Minnesota Vikings huddle ahead of a game against the Tennessee Titans last Sunday showed players mentioning Harambe.
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) September 11, 2016
And that’s only one instance of countless occasions where a sporting event, pro athlete and the like was impacted by someone doing or saying something in regard to Harambe.
Suffice to say, now that the ban has been lifted, expect to see “HARAMBE” printed on the back of customized sports jerseys all over the place when tuning into games or visiting the stadium.