In the wake of Kevin Ware’s a gruesome injury in Sunday’s Elite Eight win against Duke, adidas began selling T-shirts paying tribute to the Louisville sophomore. That plan has now been stopped after public backlash, according to Dan Wolken of USA Today.
“The shirt is not currently for sale,” Madeline Breskin, an adidas spokesperson said in an email to USA Today.
Adidas had modified its “Rise to the Occasion” T-shirts, replacing the ‘s’ in ‘Rise’ with Ware’s No. 5. The T-shirts were reported to go for $24.99 a pop, which caused a negative reaction from fans on social media on Wednesday. To many it seemed that the company and the school were profiting off of a devastating injury that made Ware a household name. The T-shirts also shed light on the negative side of college athletics. Ware, a student-athlete, would see none of the T-shirt revenues.
Many of Ware’s teammates, several of which collapsed upon seeing Ware’s injury also reacted negatively.
“I don’t think it’s right,” Peyton Siva said.
Louisville Associate Athletic Director Brent Seebohm said on Wednesday that U of L waived its licensing royalties on the shirts and the money would go to the university’s scholarship fund.
Ware was not unavailable for comment, but Chane Behanan, his best friend on the team told USA Today that Ware had not complained about the sale of the T-shirts.