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Pink: The New Silver and Black

So reading D.C. Sports Chick's angry rant about pink Caps gear got me thinking yet again about pink sports merchandise, which has been much in the news as an official actual newspaper-certified trend (repeatedly certified), with NFL teams seeing "a lot of pink in the stands" and Reebok execs wanting to see "what pink could do for hockey" and reporters promising a "rose-coloured haze" in hockey rinks. (The "trend" is actually pretty old, but if newspapers can treat it as new, so can bloggers.)

Oddly, the only pink Redskins merchandise I found on the team's site was this script R hat, although you can get a truly horrific pink Portis jersey here. The Eagles, on the other hand, are in a rose-coloured haze, with pink breast cancer awareness hats, pink visors, pink babydoll t-shirts, pink "Sweet Heart" t-shirts, pink McNabb jerseys (also available in Honeydew), pink fleeces, pink fashion winter hats, pink regular winter hats, pink headbands and, naturally, pink thongs.

Also, don't forget your Packers pink mini-football, your 49ers pink athletic tape (and since when is athletic tape an accessory?), your Caps pink rhythm sweatpants, your Nats pink rhythm shorts, your Yankees pink cosmetic bag and pink boxers and your Raiders pink sugar-coated t-shirt, featuring sparkles, pink tank top, pink playground ball, pink flannel pants, pink sandals and "pink Polka Dot Princess Raiders Panty." Plus your pink couture ladies full-zip Tony Stewart hoodie. (NASCAR tracks, I can report, are most definitely in a rose-coloured haze.)

I don't know, is this insulting? Does it imply that rather than being loyal to the potentially ugly colors of their favorite team, women need to be duped into buying pink stuff? Or "Honeydew stuff?" Is there a reason you couldn't make stylish women's clothing in authentic team colors for virtually any team except the Baltimore Ravens, whose color scheme is too horrific for words, or for clothes?

(Note: In researching this entry, I somehow stumbled upon FemmeFan's Locker Room Lookers, which consists of many, many photos of shirtless male athletes. If you're into that kind of thing.)

By Dan Steinberg  |  September 18, 2006; 12:06 PM ET
Categories:  Weirdness  
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How about this pink, or is it "salmon", Santana Moss jersey that I saw on

Posted by: kjhealey | September 18, 2006 1:56 PM | Report abuse

maybe the skins will start to sell more pink baby stuff in suri's honor

Posted by: thigh master | September 18, 2006 2:02 PM | Report abuse

I don't think it's an insult, I just think it's hideous. And as a marketing guy, I think it's dumb to degrade your "brand" just to sell a few t-shirts. I'm all for the breast cancer tie in, though.

Posted by: Mike | September 18, 2006 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I am both a Washington sports fan, and a girly-girl. What's wrong with combining my favorite teams with my favorite color? I have a Nats t-shirt and hat in pink but would love to find some pink Skins gear. AND some of the proceeds from that t-shirt went to breast cancer research. So there!

Posted by: Sherry | September 18, 2006 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for bringing attention to this issue, Dan. When will marketing execs realize that women don't necessarily want to wear pink from birth?

Seriously, is it so wrong to want to wear a jersey in the team's colors without having to buy a child's large or men's small/medium, neither of which fit properly? I like the female-cut jerseys, but those seem to be disappearing in favor of the fugly pink ones. So unfair.

(I agree, I like the breast cancer tie-in, but why does it have to solely be on the pink merchandise? Why can't it be on all women's merchandise?)

Posted by: DC Sports Chick | September 18, 2006 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Walking around Pentagon City one time, I saw a bunch of teenaged boys on a tour, all of whom had purchased or were in the process of purchasing a pink FBI hat. It seemed really odd to me that these boys all saw the hat and said to each other, "This is so cool, let's get it in pink!"


Posted by: The Delicious | September 18, 2006 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Palermo's football (soccer) club, the Rosanero, wear pink jerseys and their at the top of Serie A right now.

Posted by: Lou | September 18, 2006 5:15 PM | Report abuse

As a lifelong fan of many sport and now the President of the Screaming Eagles (a supporters club for DC United) AAACCKKK!!!

Not only do I hate the pink clothing for women but I hate the use of non team colors/patterns period (like orange NY Yankees hats). I tried to get my newborn nephew a Red Sox outfit a few years back and there was one with pin stripes with the Sox logo (PIN STRIPES? No nephew of mine would be caught dead in ANYTHING with a whiff of Yankeedom on it!) I'm sorry but the teams colors along with the logo are a very important part of the branding and when you're at a live sporting event, part of the atmosphere. You're the 12th man (or woman!) out there.

Take DC United's "Back in Black" playoff campaign. They provide fans with black t-shirts and people wear their own black jerseys for a fantastic sea of black in around RFK, it's awesome and sets the tone for the match (death to the opponent, or at last year's Chicago crushing, a funeral). When you see a sea of maroon and gold you know you're watching a Skins game (and when you see a sea of orange, chances are your watching a KC Wizards game because that's the color of their stadium seats. ;-p)

Yeah men's stuff is too big and not flattering for most women (although my game worn Christian Gomez DC United jersey fits perfectly, it's great that many soccer players aren't huge) so women's cut stuff would be nice. But in the words of David Puddy-"gotta support the team".

Posted by: SEKim | September 19, 2006 10:06 AM | Report abuse

I get nauseated every time I go to an Orioles-Red Sox game at my beloved Camden Yards and seeing thousands of pink Red Sox hats on the latest jumpers on to "Red Sox nation" bandwagon.

Actually, I get the same feeling watching the O's most every night... sigh. But I still hate the pink hats.

Posted by: Matt C | September 19, 2006 1:23 PM | Report abuse

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