Tactical manoeuvres, precision scoring and other-worldly talent should dominate the various sporting arenas, fields and pitches. Unfortunately for some, the ill-informed decisions made by marketing executives overshadow the beauty of the game, resulting in some truly ghastly outfits that detract focus from the sport. Here are some of the worst sports’ outfits in recent history.
Worst sports kits
1. The 2012 Olympics Australian discus thrower
Taking advantage of his lack of sponsorship and love for outlandish costumes, Australian discus thrower, Benn Harradine, has worn a number of eye-catching garments for the audience’s benefit. But certainly, his most memorable to date was the flesh-coloured lycra nudey suit worn at the 2012 Summer Olympics.
2. The 2008 Stade Francais kit
Known for their garish rugby jersey design, it’s difficult to pick the Parisian team’s worst kit to date but the 2008 Andy Warhol-inspired design, featuring an image of Blanche de Castille, wife of Louis VIII, is certainly the most memorable.
3. Bethanie Mattek-Sands in 2007
Renowned for her incredibly daring tennis outfits, the American professional doesn’t shy away from combining sports’ ability with fashion statements. Tube socks and cowboy hats are not unwelcome on the court for this ace, with her 2007 leopard-print one-piece definitely a career highlight.
4. Florence Griffith-Joyner in 1987
This American track-and-field athlete, who tragically died of a heart attack at age 38, certainly lived her life to the full. In addition to her record-breaking 200-metre run in 21.34 seconds at the 1988 Olympics, ‘Flo-Jo’, as she was known, also wore some really fantastic garments. One standout attire was the skin-tight bodysuit, as worn by speed skaters, that became iconic at the 1987 World Championships. This was followed by a purple bodysuit the following year, complete with a bikini brief atop and a bare left leg.
5. John Daly
No list of worst sporting attire is complete without acknowledging the great chain-smoking American professional golfer, John Daly. His incredibly colourful character and larger-than-life personality were matched by his completely off-the-wall golfing garments, bringing some real noise to a typically silent game. For Daly, who established his own Loud Mouth clothing range, there is no real ‘worst’, in his history of golf gear, but rather a consistently garish and eye-watering array of floral, neon and kaleidoscopic pants with golf shirts to match.
6. The 2014 Scottish Commonwealth Games team kit
Rather than encouraging a sense of patriotic camaraderie, these Jill Blackwood-designed opening ceremony garments only unified the Scottish nation in their derision of them. Intended as a subtle flag-inspired theme, the turquoise, fuchsia and navy blue against a burnt caramel background was far too overt with very little room for imagination.
7. The Bulls 2014 Super Rugby kit
After discarding the daring pink uniform which was launched 2012, PUMA announced the 2014 home kit – a new-age, urban camo getup which was, cringingly, dubbed the InvisiBulls kit. Trying to ride the global trend of camo, designers desperately missed the mark on this one. You might not see them coming, but you’ll be happy to see them go.