Padres Change New Hat Design After Fans Say Logo Looks Like Swastika
When we came close to including the San Diego Padres on our list of the worst New Era batting practice/spring training caps, we had in our minds that the design wasn't great because most of it resembled a waffle or Honeycomb cereal. Others, however, saw something far more damaging. Following multiple observations from fans that the “S” and “D” in the mashup logo resembles a swastika, the team is all but abandoning the hats and will go forward with a different artistic representation.
— New York Post (@nypost) February 12, 2020
Accidental inclusions of Nazi imagery have occurred in products that we have covered, and while it's likewise extremely doubtful the Padres intended giving any nod to the Third Reich, we could see how, at a time of increased sensitivity to creative depictions, some might conclude that the design is controversial.
Fusing the club’s designated cap logo with its secondary one, the result interlocks the aforementioned letters to a degree that the Padres felt they had no other choice but to shelve it, except for, according to multiple sources, at least one spring training occasion. We wonder what kind of reaction that will fetch, and whether those who inspect the caps will further accuse the Padres of reminding the public of a hate symbol.
Sports teams have not proven immune to backlash regarding their logos, with the Cleveland Indians being the most talked-about Major League Baseball organization. The Padres are not likely to overtake the American League club as the generator of logo-centric news. But as they attempt to register their first winning season since 2010, this is certainly not the start that they wanted.
As for the design, it had been messy enough before the negativity surrounding the supposed similarity between the interlocking letters and the swastika. While the latter element is depressing enough, we wonder why the Padres and New Era weren't able to come up with something better to begin with. We know that they could work only with what they had—namely, the two logos—but, come on, look at it. Yikes!