NFL Issues Statement Over Colorblind Issues Over Uniforms In Jets And Bills Game

The Buffalo Bills and New York Jets put on a pretty good game for Thursday Night Football even though they resembled a Christmas tree fighting itself on the field. The NFL’s new idea of “Color Rush” jerseys had the Bills in full red while the Jets were in full green, and it wreaked havoc with those that suffer from colorblindness.

The campaign is called “Color Rush” by the NFL and it brought about a consequence on Thursday night that was not expected. As reported by ESPN, numerous viewers who suffer from colorblindness could not figure which team was the Bills and which team was the Jets.

According to the National Eye Institute, as many as eight percent of men and 0.5 percent of women around the world with Northern European ancestry are colorblind in some way or another. Some estimates that have recently come out state that as many as 10 million Americans may suffer from it.

For Thursday night’s game, things were made even worse by the stat that Deadspin revealed that stated about six percent of all men suffer from red-green colorblindness. With that being said, it was almost impossible for many viewers to figure distinguish the Bills from the Jets.

The “Color Rush” uniforms are a test that the NFL is running this year in four games. The first was last night with the Bills and Jets, and it wasn’t a great debut. The NFL released a statement regarding the colorblindness issue and simply said they never accounted for it.

“The Color Rush jerseys are a test for four games this season, the first of which was last night. We did test the jerseys this summer on field and on television. The standard television test did not account for color blindness for fans at home that became apparent last night. We will enhance our testing to include a color blindness analysis to better address this issue in the future.”

The next scheduled “Color Rush” game is scheduled for Nov. 19 when the Jacksonville Jaguars take on the Tennessee Titans. Jacksonville will be wearing all gold uniforms while the Titans will be decked out in all blue.

It won’t be as bad for that game as only 1-in-10,000 people suffer from blue-yellow colordblindness. The “Color Rush” campaign will run through Dec. 17, and at least two other teams will undergo extreme jersey changes along with the Bills and Jaguars.

The St. Louis Rams will also wear a gold jersey at some point this season, and it’s expected to happen on Dec. 17 when they face off with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Many teams have played in alternate uniforms in the past with the New Orleans Saints donning gold jerseys or the New England Patriots putting on red jerseys. A number of NFL teams even still wear throwback uniforms from time to time with one example being the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Of course, there is always ridicule that comes with some of the jersey/uniform choices, and the Steelers can’t get away from it. They’ve been compared to prisoners, bumblebees, and everything in between.

A number of NFL superstars did back up the “Color Rush” uniforms and supported them. Bills linebacker Nigel Bradham said that they were “amazing,” and running back LeSean McCoy said they “looked nice.”

The NFL is trying something new, and everything new brings a few obstacles and hiccups. That’s exactly what happened with the “Color Rush” campaign that obviously had some problems with those suffering from colorblindness. The Buffalo Bills and New York Jets were guinea pigs, and now it’s known what changes need to be made.

[Image via Getty Images/Al Bello]