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Outrage Among Politicians, Fans Over Nike’s New Soccer Shirt

LONDON — Politicians and fans are outraged with Nike’s new football (soccer) kit, where the cross of St. George, always in white and red, has been changed to a red, purple, blue and black cross for the Euro 2024 tournament taking place in June.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak joined in on the fury against Nike.

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“When it comes to our national flags, we shouldn’t mess with them because they’re a source of pride, identity, who we are and they’re perfect as they are,” he said.

Sir Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party in the U.K., agreed.

Nike National Federation Kits 2024: England
Nike National Federation Kits 2024: England

“As you know, I’m a big football fan. I go to England games — men’s and women’s games — and the flag is used by everybody. It is a unifier, it doesn’t need to be changed, we just need to be proud of it — so, I think they should just reconsider this and change it back,” he told the British tabloid newspaper The Sun.

Nike has issued a statement saying that the colors were changed to honor England’s win of the 1966 World Cup.

“We have been a proud partner of the FA since 2012 and understand the significance and importance of the St. George’s Cross and it was never our intention to offend, given what it means to England fans,” said the statement.

Nike National Federation Kits 2024: England
Nike National Federation Kits 2024: England

The new colors of the St. George cross took cues from the 1966 training kit which included shades of blues, reds and purple.

There are no plans in place for the new cross to be redesigned despite the online anger.

The U.S. brand is celebrating its wins this week. Nike signed the German national football team after the team ended its 77-year sponsorship with Adidas.

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