Reebok removes Ireland UFC t-shirt due to huge mistake

October 21, 2015

Reebok made a major faux pas when it rolled out its t-shirts for UFC Fight Night 76 in Dublin, Ireland.  A UFC shirt which depicted the country did not include Northern Ireland.

MMA Fighting reports Reebok has removed the t-shirt due to fan outrage.  Reebok has sent out its own apologies.


For ease of reference, below is a map of Ireland.  Above is the UFC/Reebok shirt.  Note Northern Ireland (in the top right hand corner of the map) is not on the UFC shirt as if it was erased in some way.



MMA Fighting explains the political undercurrent causing the outrage:

The Republic of Ireland and ‘Ireland’ have different meanings. The former is a term refers to the independent democratic country of Ireland whose capital is Dublin. The latter, or ‘Ireland’, is considered to be both the Republic of Ireland as well as Northern Ireland, one of the four countries which comprise the United Kingdom.

John Kavanagh, the coach for Conor McGregor among other Irish UFC fighters, issued a statement on the Reebok t-shirt and the reason behind the cultural sensitivity.  Kavanagh, head coach of SBG Dublin, initially stated that he would sever ties with Reebok (or the UFC or both) if the shirt was not taken down.

Payout Perspective:

One need only a basic understanding of European history to understand the cultural and political problems in Ireland.  Moreover, why didn’t Reebok do its research prior to making the t-shirt?  If it’s looking to expand its global footprint, perhaps the UFC and Reebok should spend some time learning about the globe it would like to expand into.  If not for Conor McGregor, something like this t-shirt gaffe could have really turned off the fan base in Ireland.

4 Responses to “Reebok removes Ireland UFC t-shirt due to huge mistake”

  1. Logical on October 21st, 2015 10:12 PM

    Major f***ing facepalm… just WTF is Reebok thinking… the last time they got something right it was November 24, 1989. They should have just gone with the flag colors and call it a day, that’s what lazy designers always do “Hey bob! get on the interwebz, find the Irish flag and draw me some of ’em colors fool, make them into a nice shiny wave and drape them all over the place! make it sassy and remember… LOTS AND LOTS OF GREEN!! add some shamrocks as well… maybe some gold… and leprechauns, throw in some unicorns and pixies just for the hell of it”.

  2. Edi on October 22nd, 2015 12:01 AM

    26 + 6 = 1

  3. Cry me a river on October 22nd, 2015 3:09 AM

    The Irish should first learn to protect their identity by rejecting the British/US non-values that are murdering not just Ireland but the whole world.

    There’s hardly any difference between the Irish and the Brits in terms of philosophy and way of life. So this territorial BS is really starting to annoy me.

  4. JF on October 22nd, 2015 4:01 AM

    Come on… Who the hell is in charge over there??

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