The Mississippi State baseball team — or, potentially, Adidas — has found itself in hot water this week because of some batting practice t-shirts that displayed an inappropriate hidden message.
On the surface, it appeared that the shirts simply poked fun at Starkville, Miss. (where the university is located) by referring to the town as “Starkvegas.” Get it? Because there’s nothing to do in Starkville, so it’s ironic. But upon closer examination, Bulldogs beat writers noticed the words “F–K THE SCHOOL UP NORTH” mixed in with all the hideous neon text (via Bunkie Perkins/Twitter).
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The “team up north” would be in-state rival Ole Miss.
The shocking thing is these weren’t shirts that a member of the team made and passed out to his teammates. They were manufactured for the team by Adidas, and Mississippi State athletic director was not pleased when the issue was called to his attention.
“This afternoon it came to my attention that a shirt provided to our baseball team by adidas has an inappropriate phrase written on it,” Stricklin wrote on Twitter Thursday. “This is completely unacceptable and does not reflect the standards and values of Mississippi State University or its athletic department. For anyone who was offended by this shirt, as I was, please accept our apologies and rest assured that this has been rectified.”
It’s hard to figure out who is responsible here. Would Adidas have taken the liberty of printing something like that on their own? And if not, who from Mississippi State thought the stunt was a good idea?