Adidas removes number 44 from the Germany shirt due to its resemblance to the Nazi ‘SS’ symbol

BERLIN (GERMANY), April 1 (dpa/EP) –

The German sporting goods brand Adidas announced this Monday the blocking and withdrawal of the number 44 of the German soccer team’s shirt in its online store, in reaction to criticism that it resembles the symbol of the Nazi ‘SS’.

“We will block the customization of t-shirts in our online store,” Adidas spokesman Oliver Brüggen told dpa. And in the new shirt design made by the manufacturer for EURO 2024, the number 44 recalls the graphic symbols of those known as ‘Schutzstaffel’ (protection squads in German) from the Nazi period.

The design sparked controversy on social networks, but Adidas explained that “the German Football Federation (DFB) and its partner 11teamsports are responsible for the design of the names and numbers.”

“People from around 100 nations work at Adidas, our company advocates the promotion of diversity and inclusion, and as a company we actively oppose xenophobia, anti-Semitism, violence and hatred in any of its forms,” Brüggen commented.

The company insisted that “any attempt to promote divisive or exclusive opinions is not part” of its values ​​as a brand, and they “firmly” rejected any comments that this was Adidas’ intention.