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NFL's Red And Green Uniforms Described As 'Torture' By Colorblind Fans

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For Thursday night's game, the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills wore solid colors — green and red, respectively — that were created by Nike. Many colorblind fans were not happy with the pairing.
Al Bello, Getty Images
For Thursday night's game, the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills wore solid colors — green and red, respectively — that were created by Nike. Many colorblind fans were not happy with the pairing.

Update 4:25 p.m. ET

Some called it unwatchable — and that wasn't just because the Jets and Bills were playing. Thursday night's NFL game is drawing criticism for featuring teams in all-red and all-green uniforms, making them virtually indecipherable to fans with red-green colorblindness.

The uniforms were part of the Nike's new "Color Rush" line, tied to a four-game promotion for the NFL's Thursday night games. But the combination of red and green drew a range of negative responses, on both practical and aesthetic counts.

Calling the uniforms "stupid," Deadspin presented a video clip of last night's game that had been modified to simulate what it looked like to people with red-green colorblindness. The images show players running around in virtually identical uniforms, all of them wearing mostly white helmets, with white stripes on their dark shirts and pants.

Among those unhappy with the choice: former New York Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes and AP sports editor Michael A. Giarrusso. "This is torture to us," Giarrusso wrote.

"According to the National Eye Institute, as many as 8 percent of men and 0.5 percent of women worldwide with Northern European ancestry are in some way colorblind," ESPN reports. "Recent estimates suggest that 10 million Americans suffer from it."

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The NFL released a statement today admitting they hadn't considered what the viewing experience would be like for colorblind fans:

"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 game in the Color Rush promotion pits Tennessee against Jacksonville, in a game that will fill the field with powder-blue and gold colors. Future games are scheduled between Carolina and Dallas, followed by Tampa Bay vs. St. Louis.

Reacting to last night's game, some critics simply decided that even for people who can discern between red and green, the uniforms were a bad idea.

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