April 8, 2021
Rebel Edition jerseys released by Nike bring WNBA cities to life
WNBA players are proud to wear new jerseys
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Nike revealed its new WNBA jerseys for all 12 teams on Thursday morning as it aims to bring to life the vibe of each WNBA city with “sharper creative expression,” according to a press release.
The jersey changes come as the WNBA is entering its 25th year of existence and give the league a new look and a new feel.
As WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert said, “the basketball uniform is an important representation of the brand of WNBA players and teams and a point of pride for fans.”
“In partnership with Nike, unveiling new and exciting adaptations of the WNBA uniforms is a dynamic way to build on the foundation of the league’s first 25 years.”
Each uniform is numbered 1 through 144 (a different one for each player in the league) on a small patch at the bottom and the main number will be now be featured on the front of the jersey. Besides, the shorts and tops have been made with new proportions to best fit the female athlete.
“For the first time ever we have uniforms that are uniquely ours,” said Seattle Storm legend Sue Bird. “Every single jersey shares a story that represents our city, and the distinction allows us to express our own creativity and individual style. Nike’s attention to each design detail makes me excited and proud to put the uniform on, and demonstrates a huge step forward in growing the game for women.”
Three game uniform editions have been released for each team: the WNBA Nike Heroine Edition, the WNBA Nike Explorer Edition, and the WNBA Nike Rebel Edition, the last of which mostly focuses on telling a unique story about the team’s city.
For example, here’s the Seattle Storm’s explanation of their Rebel jersey in a press release:
“In celebration of the city’s lineage of political engagement, the Storm’s Nike Rebel Edition Jersey centers a sash-like swoop across the chest, the back and down the shorts, symbolizing female empowerment coupled with bold, graphic type in well-worn relief.”
Meanwhile, here’s a look at the Minnesota Lynx’s Rebel jersey, which was inspired by the music venue “First Avenue and 7th Street Entry” in downtown Minneapolis:
Lynx center Sylvia Fowles, like Bird, has been in the league for quite some time and also likes the changes.
“I’m excited to have the opportunity to be around to see these jerseys,” Fowles said in a phone call on Thursday. “Because when I first got into the league we had our home and away jerseys and we kind of got away from that for a couple of years. To have the opportunity to be back in home and away jerseys and our city jerseys is amazing.”
“I think we were just dead on with the Rebel jersey,” Fowles added. “And it shows what represents us too downtown and that’s First Ave and 7th. That’s where it all goes down. So there’s no other way to represent ourselves.”
The Connecticut Sun have perhaps the most unique Rebel jersey with the word “Keesusk” across the front. “Keesusk” means “Sun” in the native language of the Mohegan Native American tribe, which owns the team. The jersey honors Gladys Tantaquidgeon, the Mohegan Tribe’s medicine woman, by being all blue, the color of Tantaquidgeon’s regalia.
The Phoenix Mercury chose to have a black Rebel jersey because their local counterparts in men’s basketball (the Phoenix Suns), football (Arizona Cardinals), baseball (Arizona Diamondbacks), and hockey (Arizona Coyotes) all feature black in their uniforms.
Since Chicago is known for the first skyscrapers, the Chicago Sky paid homage to that by utilizing pinstripes on all three of their editions.