When people order a personalized jersey, they can pretty much get any name they want. That is, within reason. Obviously, anything that’s racist, sexist, homophobic, or profane wouldn’t be allowed and if the system does what it’s supposed to do, people are unable to order jerseys with inappropriate names.
Sometimes, that can work too well and what gets caught as inappropriate is actually completely innocent. That’s what happened when a fan tried to purchase a Jordan Nobbs Arsenal WFC kit and wasn’t allowed to because the name “Nobbs” was deemed inappropriate. All that was said on Adidas’ website was that “Nobbs” was “against personalization guidelines” but it was probably considered profane.
jordan nobbs has played for arsenal since 2010, gaining 102 caps (+ 56 for england) won the wsl 3 times, the @TheWomensFACup 4 times, the fa wsl cup 5 times and yet @adidasfootball will still not allow you to personalise a shirt with her name pic.twitter.com/mTbDBxiyuu
— freya (@_freya___) November 26, 2019
After first suggesting that the customer use “Nobb” instead of the player’s actual name, Adidas changed their shirt policy to allow the name “Nobbs.” However, that’s not the complete story.
It was also discovered that there is a ten character limit on names so fans cannot get jerseys for their favorite female players with long names. Arsenal players like Viktoria Schnaderbeck, Danielle van de Donk, or Pauline Peyraud-Magnin are affected and people can only get up to 10 characters. It should be noted that this only applies to female players because there is a drop down list for male players. So if one were to order an Ainsley Maitland-Niles kit from the Adidas or the Arsenal team store, they can get that.
Perhaps this is a matter where Adidas and Arsenal can make male and female player names automatically selectable. With the Women’s Super League gaining more and more support, demand for women’s player kits will rise as well. Why not make it easier for people to represent their favorite female players.