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The Chattanooga Lookouts — the Double-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds — have pulled a shirt from their team shop that bore a striking, and very unfortunate resemblance to a racial slur.
The team’s logo consists of a pair of eyes. Because “Lookouts,” get it. Then, as part of their branding package, the team uses the word “Nooga,” as in Chattanooga.
By now I’m sure you know where this is headed.
They decided to combine the two ideas into one t-shirt, but… well, it just doesn’t quite work the way they intended.
Now, while we all know what they were going for and can even tell that it says “Nooga,” you’d definitely do a double take if you walked past someone wearing one of those.
That was enough for the team to scrap it. According to The Tennessean, the shirt was pulled from the team store.
Obviously, This Shirt’s Design Was Unintentional
Not selling the shirts is their prerogative. Still, does anyone think for a second that a minor league baseball team would make a shirt with a racial slur printed on it?
Of course not.
But this is how it is nowadays. The unfortunate pseudo-resemblance is treated as intent, despite that obviously not being the case.
Although you can’t help but wonder how many sets of eyes that thing went past before the shirts were printed. It’s wild that no one raised a hand and said, “Uh… we might want to make the eyes a little smaller or something.”
Perhaps, that’s because no one wants to be the first person to point something like that out. Within the team, that shirt was simply their logo and the back half of Chattanooga. I wouldn’t be shocked if no one would want to say anything just to avoid being branded with a Scarlet R (for “racist,” not Rutgers).
Whatever the case, the team isn’t selling these shirts anymore. However, other retailers have reportedly taken the design and are printing their own versions.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle