Why do sports teams add suffixes to surnames on players' jerseys?
What's the point in having "SMITH JR" on someone's jersey? Is his father or older relative on the field, too, and there needs to be a distinction?
- 2 months ago
He Hate Me
- RICKLv 72 months ago
Its the players request
- KathyLv 72 months ago
So the player will not be confused with the other relative.
- Anonymous2 months ago
And that bothers you? What a fascinating life you must live ...
- How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
- u_bin_calledLv 72 months ago
Part of it was marketing, part of it was giving in to players' demands and part of it was a growing social movement within the African American community.
The long-standing NFL rule against generational identifiers on jerseys was lifted in 2012....by "coincidence," that also happened to be the year Robert Griffin III was drafted. Griffin was already known in the pop media as "RG3" coming out of college and was projected to be the "face of the league" to a new generation of fans.
The NFL has been following the NBA for years in marketing individual stars over their teams, turning players into their own "brand names." Eliminating the rule allowed Griffin to keep his "identity" and allowed the NFL to capitalize on his "brand name."
Once lifted, many players adopted the suffixes to differentiate themselves from other players on their teams with the same names or simply to honor their fathers...and that struck an especially deep chord among many African-American players.
Lack of parental role models and cohesive family units has been a problem in urban America for decades and the black community is often stereotyped as one where fathers are absent. The addition of generational suffixes has allowed black players to both combat this stereotype and emphasize the importance of strong parental bonds.
- EntropyLv 72 months ago
It used to be that the NFL refused to allow that, but a few years back (I forget how long) they reversed it and let player's decide for themselves. Yay, freedom!
So some chose to honor their father with a Jr. on their Jersey, some even put Sr. because they had a son with the same name. There are some IIIs and such.