On Friday, adidas decided to pull a controversial T-shirt that used the story of Louisville guard Kevin Ware’s shattered leg to promote its latest marketing slogan – a particularly loathsome move even for the shoe industry and college sports.
The shirt featured adidas’ new mantra, “Rise To the Occasion.” Only the “s” in “Rise” is shaped like a Louisville No. 5, the same number worn by Ware, who broke his leg in last Sunday’s Midwest Region final. The number is also on the back of the shirt. You could buy one for $24.99.
Louisville acknowledged the “5” stood for Ware, which put the NCAA in violation of its own bizarre rules and opened itself up to potential legal action. So it’s likely that legal liability – not found conscience – is what stopped sales of the T-shirt. USA Today first reported the decision to halt sales.