I have nothing against the color pink. I like it! I am wearing a bright pink tank top as we metaphorically speak. I look hella good in pink clothes. But boy-oh-boy if there isn’t something about pink fan gear that just really gets to me.
There are a lot of women who are fans of sports: 44% of football fans are women, 45% of baseball fans are women, and 36% of men’s basketball fans are women. And every single one of us knows what I’m saying when I bring up the pepto-bismol-I’m-gonna-hurl pink that seems to be the go-to color for the majority of women’s fan gear. Yeah, who doesn’t want a hot pink shirt when the team’s colors are orange and green?
To be honest, my biggest problem with pink shirts isn’t that they’re pink when the team colors have nothing in the world to do with pink. I mean, take a gander at the fan gear offered at your local store or online retailer. If you don’t see at least one utterly bizarre clothing choice (say chinos with mini-logos sewn on, southern-prep style), I will eat my hat. It’d be unfair to pick on pink clothes just because they go above and beyond the team colors T-shirt model.
But there’s something about that color pink that just smacks of condescension. Like, us womenfolk were just running to the store for awesome team T-shirts, money in our manicured fists, shopping-crazed eyes lolling in our heads, until we saw that none of the shirts were pink, and then we immediately refused to ever patronize the establishment again. It’s like the creators of these shirts think that women respond to pink the way bulls respond to red. It’s our Bat Signal, but way less awesome. It’s condescending and manipulative, and completely misinformed: I’d rather be saving Gotham than looking like cotton candy.
I know that manufacturers try to put out a range of options to reach a variety of consumers, but let’s not play the “but the ladies want pink” game: even the vice-president of apparel for the NFL, Tracy Bleczinski, admits that the fan gear for women model was “pink it and shrink it” for a long, long time. Now, the NFL is looking to reach out to female fans and listen to what they want instead of just shoving pink-splotched gear in their general direction. Listening to women? What a novel suggestion.