Could Eco-Friendly Football Jerseys Revive Miami’s Season?

By: Taj Simmons

Miami’s football season is now well underway, and if you’ve been paying any attention, it’s been rather difficult to watch at some points. With all due respect, Miami football has been given an extremely difficult schedule that included road games at Big 10 powerhouse football schools like Iowa and Ohio State. With its 2-3 record so far this season, perhaps a new look in the form of the jerseys could help add to the win column. After all, the great Deion Sanders once said “Look good, play good.” 

Not only would a new jersey design brighten the mood, but it could also be used to help tighten our campus community and spread our school’s traditions and spirit. Finally, and most importantly, we can use the jerseys as a canvas for the advocacy of being a more environmentally friendly school. 

Over the summer, The University of Miami and Adidas partnered with The Parley Foundation, an eco-friendly organization focused on keeping our oceans clean, to come up with football jerseys that are composed of over 70 percent regenerated ECONYL yarn. ECONYL yarn is made up of  materials that are transformed from fishing nets and other nylon waste intercepted in marine environments. The jerseys are mainly white, which means that the use of toxic color dyes and materials are reduced. Not only do these bad boys serve a purpose, they are really something to look at.

 It’s worth mentioning that we’re talking about the University of Miami in Florida, here, not our University in Oxford, Ohio: such is life when you attend college in a small town in the middle of nowhere in the Midwest. Of course, Miami, Florida is much closer to the beach and is home to a top tier college football program; therefore, it would make more sense logistically that the University of Miami gets to rock these uniforms.

However, Miami (Florida) wasn’t the only sports program to receive Parley uniforms this year. Back in April, it was announced that all 24 Major League Soccer teams would be receiving a Parley kit to sport during Earth Day weekend. The National Hockey League joined in the fun too, as players wore a similar type of jersey during the NHL All-Star Skills contest and the All Star Game.

The University of Miami also has a partnership with Adidas as their official athletic apparel provider. Perhaps if we ask very very politely and maybe send a few Crunch ‘n’ Munch bagels from our legendary Bagel and Deli, we can get some sweet eco-friendly uniforms, too.

While we don’t go to school next to the Atlantic Ocean, our corner of Southwest Ohio still sees its fair share of water pollution. Hueston Woods is home to man-made Acton Lake, and although it’s  rather small, the lake still sees its fair share of pollution from visitors in the form of water bottles and other trash. 

On a larger scale, look no further than the Great Miami River. As a popular recreational kayaking, fishing, and canoeing spot, many visitors leave their unwanted trash in the area. So much so, children are incentivized to pick up trash in the water in exchange for ice cream.  

Finally, there’s the Ohio River, which in 2015 was reported to be the most polluted river in the entire country. Not only does runoff from local sewage and industrial pollution affect the area, but plastic garbage is a big threat to the river as well.

By using recycled materials in our football jerseys, not only are schools like the University of Miami helping the environment by recycling garbage placed in areas where they most definitely should not be, but they are also strengthening their communities. Groups like the Parley Foundation are taking action to try and make the surrounding environment a better place for all of us to live in. 

And while the environmental benefits are great, wouldn’t you want to wear one of those sleek jerseys on game day?

Cover photo courtesy of Pixabay

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