Packers vs. Eagles rumors about wearing green in Brazil was totally BS


All it took was a misunderstanding from Josh Jacobs to start a firestorm around the Packers vs. Eagles season opener in São Paulo, the first time an NFL game will take place in Brazil.

On Thursday, Jacobs made an off-hand comment on Chris Long’s podcast saying that Green Bay was told by the NFL they aren’t allowed to wear green in Brazil because of the risk of gang violence.

”You know, they said that the part of Brazil we’re going to, you can’t even wear green at all. They said, I guess, something to do with the gangs and stuff.”

Jacobs kept hammering home this idea that going to Brazil was going to be ludicrously dangerous for players, saying they were told they might not be allowed to leave their hotel rooms, and positing that they might be followed by armored cars and guards wherever they go.

This sparked a frenzy, with dozens of outlets parroting Jacobs’ words without bothering to see if they were even true. Deeply rooted in xenophobia, it painted Brazil as a country where NFL players would be targeted at every turn, raising questions of why the league would sent players to a country where their lives might be in constant danger.

As it turns out Jacobs claims were total and utter bullshit. On Friday morning he offered an apology, simply saying he was “misinformed.”

The damage was already done. Now the NFL is trying its best to battle the misinformation. The league is saying there is no security risk, there is no gang risk, players will not be confined, there are no plans for armored vehicles, and there will be no bans on uniform choices for the game. Essentially everything Jacobs said was wrong, but that hasn’t stopped it being the new prevailing sentiment about the game being played in Brazil.

There is a sliver of truth to green being a problematic color, but it has absolutely nothing to do with gangs. The Packers vs. Eagles game is set to take place at Neo Química Arena, home of Brazilian soccer team Corinthians. Their colors are black and white, and their No. 1 rival Palmeiras wears green.

So, any backlash over the color green isn’t gang related, but it’s about two teams who predominantly wear green jerseys playing in a stadium that hates the color green. Any discussion of uniform changes likely had nothing to do with potential violence, but respect for their hosts.

In addition, it’s been pointed out that dozens of teams have worn green in the Corinthians stadium before, and it’s never caused any kind of unrest. Especially considering the NFL game wouldn’t event register as part of this soccer rivalry.

This “my bad” from Josh Jacobs is nice. At least he apologized. However, the damage is already done. Brazil has been painted in the eyes of many as a lawless hellscape that shouldn’t be hosting an NFL game, all because of Jacobs’ woefully incorrect comments.

There are myriad social issues in Brazil, rampant income inequality issues, and yes like any major cities there is gang activity. However, there is no danger to NFL players for simply playing a game in the country. It’s a shame we even need to debunk garbage like this.



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