Toronto Maple Leafs Jersey Ad Offensive, Disgusting, Disrespectful

Hockey pucks in the Kontinental Hockey League goal(Final score; SKA Saint Petersburg 8:3 Dinamo Minsk). (Photo by Maksim Konstantinov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Hockey pucks in the Kontinental Hockey League goal(Final score; SKA Saint Petersburg 8:3 Dinamo Minsk). (Photo by Maksim Konstantinov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) /

The Toronto Maple Leafs have sold advertising space on the front of their jersey.

Apparently being the richest team in the NHL isn’t enough for the Toronto Maple Leafs, who have sold out their original six jersey to Big Dairy in exchange for their dignity and self-respect.

Yes kids, for some money they didn’t even need, the corporate stooges who run your favorite team just spit in your face and pushed you into traffic so they could pick a dime up off the sidewalk.

Rogers and Bell own the team, and Canada has some of the highest internet and cell phone prices in the world, so it is no surprise that the team would go down this (offensive and disgusting) road.

If there is a stray dollar out there, the Toronto Maple Leafs would like to take it.  Apparently, there is no limit to what they will do for extra money.

Toronto Maple Leafs Should be Ashamed of Excessive Greed

The NHL has shown absolutely no morality when it comes to gambling, so it is hardly a surprise that they’d sell their dignity for some walking around money.

Everything to do with hockey is flooded with advertising.  Advertising is not inherently bad, but there can be too much of a good thing.

Sure, I probably won’t notice the hideous and lame patch they put on the jersey after a while.  It won’t affect the actual game, and it will just be one more add in a sea of them.  But it’s the principle of the thing, not its effect on function.

Just because some things are already annoying doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have a limit to how much annoyance we will accept.  Just because it’s a minor issue doesn’t mean it isn’t also symbolic.  There is way too much acceptance of things that suck going on.

Symbolism Matters

Selling adds on jerseys is just a step too far.  It’s saying that nothing is sacred. It’s saying that romance is dead, this is just a business, shut up, pay me. (Look, I know it’s just a business, but I thought we all agreed to at least pretend).

It’s disrespectful to fans because it says you are nothing to us but potential units of cash.

It’s disrespectful to the history and tradition of the franchise.

It looks desperate.  It is one of the most embarrassing things I’ve ever seen.

And the cynicism that says “even if a few people actually do care, most people are too docile to say anything, and after some initial backlash no one will even remember they weren’t always there” is, at least to me, the most disturbing part.

The Toronto Maple Leafs, with what I am reasonably certain are some of the richest owners in pro sports history, who essentially have a license to print money, just can’t get enough. This level of  shameless avarice is Bell and Rogers’ legacy to the city.

This is a blue-collar city, and almost no blue-collar people can go to games.  We are stuck at home, watching them in exchange for being brainwashed into becoming gambling fiends, and now there isn’t any single space that is free from advertising.

Don’t like it? Shut up, pay me.

I guarantee you half the response to this article will be “if you don’t like it don’t watch” as if that is a real option. I shouldn’t be forced into an ultimatum that only hurts me in order to lodge my complaint.  I can’t do anything about it but write this article – I certainly can’t stop eating cereal or watching hockey – but it’s still more than most people can do.

So how long until Matthews sells the name-plate on the back of his jersey to Axe Body Spray?  You think it won’t happen? And I’m the naïve one?

The people involved in this decision, from ownership to Brendan Shanahan should be ashamed of themselves.

Sure most don’t care, and that will be the basis of ignoring those who do, as everything continues to get slightly worse.  They will say this ain’t the hill to die on (because careful to avoid clichés they are not) and they will use false-equivalencies and strawman arguments to tell you that you’re making too big of a deal about nothing.

So be it.

Next. Player Grades. dark

Selling ads on jerseys is disgusting. It is a slap in the face to the fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and it makes the team look cheap and petty.  I could see the Phoenix Coyotes having to do this to stay afloat.  But this is like a millionaire clipping coupons.