'Wounded Warrior' Uniforms Spark Controversy

'Wounded Warrior' Uniforms Spark Controversy

Northwestern University football team is drawing controversy over special 'Wounded Warriors' uniforms they are set to wear Nov. 16.
MEMPHIS, TN (localmemphis.com) – Northwestern University football team is drawing controversy over special 'Wounded Warriors' uniforms they are set to wear Nov. 16. 

The uniforms will be auctioned after the team's game against Michigan, with proceeds going to the Wounded Warrior Project. 

It’s not just the flag design, although many veterans feel the design itself desecrates the flag, because, after all, they will be hitting the ground. 

But, the uniforms appear to be splattered with blood, and for many veterans that’s simply too much.

“We fought to keep blood off that flag,” said Vietnam veteran Edward Stutler. “Every war we have ever been in, we fought to keep blood off that flag.”

That’s the problem. When Northwestern plays Michiga,n they’ll wear uniforms based on an American flag design, complete with built-in blood spatter.

“That’s a wonderful objective,” Stutler told localmemphis.com. 

But, overlooking that blood is difficult.

‘The blood,” said Michael Rhew, “is somewhat inappropriate to me.”

Rhew is the Commander of VFW Post 684 in Memphis.

But not everybody feels that way.

“I don’t think there’s any bad taste,” said Vietnam veteran Ernie Moore. “A lot of our soldiers have lost their blood on the battlefield, so it kind of symbolizes that.”

Stutler is the past president of the Vietnam Veterans of Memphis, and he volunteers at the V-A Hospital.

“I deal with veterans every day, and I don’t know that I could sit here and tell you that I know a veteran this would not upset,” Stutler told localmemphis.com.

Well, there’s Ernie.

“You can’t have a controversy over every little thing.” Moore told localmemphis.com.

‘That kind of thinking is how this is allowed to happen,” Stutler said.

Stutler doesn’t buy the explanation that the apparent blood splatter is simply a “distressed” look.

“It seems like they are reaching for an answer of why they made a mistake,” Stutler told localmemphis.com.

A mistake he takes personally.

“Anything that is done to the American flag in that manner hurts me,” said Stutler.

And it seems controversy sells. Northwestern has announced that all replica jerseys based on the flag design sold out a week before the game.

The school also said it has no plans to sell them again.

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