The original plan for Tennessee football was to wear black jerseys against Kentucky. Afterwards, those jerseys would be auctioned off to support local organizations around Knoxville with racial inequality.
Well, it looks like those plans will not be happening after all.
On Monday, Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt announced that plan, which was announced back in June, had to be axed due to contractual issues with Nike. Apparently, the company was not made aware of the plans, and the idea was shot down.
“You know what, I learned a really good lesson as a head football coach,” Pruitt said during his weekly press conference. “You know, there are contracts with people that do our apparel that we wear. It’s something (wearing black jerseys) that our players and our staff want to do. It’s something that we’re not going to be able to do from a standpoint of a contract.
“But we’re going to find ways within our organization to raise money to support local institutions. We’re not going to be able to do it this game, but Nike guaranteed us from now on that we would be able to have black jerseys, black uniforms. It’s something we’ve worked hard within our organization and our administration to get done.”
It’s kind of surprising that this wasn’t addressed back when it was announced five months ago. Even as recently as a couple of days ago, Tennessee fans were on social media getting hyped up for the occasion. There was actually some confusion, and now we understand why.
Are they doing that?
— Craig (@RockyTopSkiBum) October 11, 2020
Tennessee is slated to welcome the Wildcats to Neyland Stadium in Knoxville this Saturday at noon ET. The game will be broadcasted by the SEC Network and will feature two teams who are viewed similarly amongst the rest of the conference.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.