Yellow jersey: A symbol of unity or anger?

Written by Staff Writer

The Brazilian yellow jersey is a 2014 Tour de France favorite, but its apparent homogeneity has triggered anger among the country’s citizens

Cycling superstar Cadel Evans has said he “can’t see this yellow jersey representing my country in anything” following the cancellation of a cycling exhibition in Brazil, and threatened to pull out of next year’s Tour de France if it wasn’t changed.

While that may prompt the Green Power Green Team to change its name to the Yellow Race, with ORICA-GreenEDGE affirming that it “strongly rejects the use of the yellow jersey in an object that is not to do with the Tour de France in any way,” the idea that the yellow jersey stands for a unity seemingly held dear by Evans and the others also has enormous problems.

Cover footage from the inaugural event that was canceled in Sao Paulo

As last year’s Olympics found out the country can still be rather touchy when it comes to expressing national pride — with flag-burning incidents and an otherwise-rare refusal of an Olympic flag in the Rio Games — and something about representing the country with a yellow jersey and not a blue one is also starting to raise some hackles.

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Ricardo Paiva, the vice president of the Brazilian National Confederation of Cyclists, demanded a proof of how the Brazilian flag was somehow being portrayed.

“All the cyclists and other sports personalities are asking for the new show to honor Brazil,” the former cyclist said. “I want the show to honor Brazil, a country that we are all proud of.”

Cycling officials won’t comment on Evans’ comments, but have already vowed to address the matter in the event that the rider decides to bring his yellow race to an end.

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From the Premier League to the NBA, some teams may also be pondering, what would all the Brazilians to whose number the green and yellow jersey was linked feel about such an approach?

A Wikipedia page for the yellow jersey acknowledges the current restrictions in the way the jersey is worn, describing the decision to use numbers instead of colors as “a technical improvement that allows the wearer to wear his jersey in more traditional distribution.”

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