The Washington Post

Nats Memorial Day camo hats

Here’s a photo of the camo caps the Nats will be wearing on Memorial Day. The image is via a PR email, that came with this explanation.

With Memorial Day just around the corner (Monday, May 27th) Major League Baseball and New Era are gearing up for their annual Stars & Stripes program. Since 2008, MLB has honored the holiday by wearing special commemorative caps from New Era.

This year, however, there is quite the twist! Gone are the days of Red, White and Blue! To honor the holiday, the Nationals will wear specially designed caps from New Era featuring an authentic military digital camouflage design when they play against the Baltimore Orioles.

MLB announced in March that teams across the league would be wearing these to commemorate the holiday. Uniwatch was on top of the announcement, and had some harsh words for the league’s choice of headgear.

But camo on Memorial Day is particularly bad, because it’s a major misreading of the holiday. Memorial Day is not for celebrating the military (that’s Armed Forces Day) or honoring veterans (that’s Veterans Day, although MLB’s PR dept. apparently doesn’t know that). It’s for mourning the dead. A moment of silence would be the best gesture; if something has to be worn, an armband would be appropriate. But in today’s sports world, anything even vaguely related to the military defaults to camo. It’s lazy, it’s wrong, and it helps spread cultural illiteracy.

MLB announced that all of the net proceeds from the sale of the caps would go to Welcome Back Veterans, so there’s that.

Dan tweeted a photo of the hats earlier, and the initial feedback hasn’t been great, but I’m sure not everyone feels that way. What do you think of them? Answer our fun poll and let us know.



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Dan Steinberg · May 20, 2013