On Sunday, the Chicago Bears are set to debut this season’s throwback uniforms against the Minnesota Vikings. The jerseys have been marketed all summer, but it doesn’t come without controversy.
Those 1936 uniforms come from an era in which no black players were permitted to play in the league. The Bears front office knows this, which is why their social justice committee and team chairman George H. McCaskey posted a message Tuesday night about the team’s decision to wear them
“This Sunday against the Vikings our players will wear the 1936 classic jersey,” McCaskey said.. “That was from a time when unfortunately African-Americans were not included on the Bears or other NFL rosters. Integration of the NFL and the Bears was too long in coming. But we’re proud that this year’s Bears will be the first African-Americans to wear these jerseys.”
The Bears did not have a black player on the team until 1952.
“As a founding franchise, our organization is glorious, but it’s not perfect,” linebacker Danny Trevathan said.
Defensive tackle Akiem Hicks added, “Wearing this jersey is a sign, a symbol for the people who came before us that weren’t allowed to wear this jersey. And now on our shoulders is the opportunity to represent not only our culture, but our city and our team by wearing this jersey and being the first African-Americans to do so.”
If any fans want to get their hands on a throwback jersey, they are currently being retailed for as much as $169.99 on the league’s website.