There’s no question about it—purple is the most underused primary or secondary color in sports. There are countless teams with red and blue, but combine them into a luscious purple, and somehow teams are turned off! Pink, sure, you can see how a team may not be able to inspire fear and terror into their opponents with a pastel color. But purple should be seen as ferocious!
Are teams worried about inability to sell merchandise? Is purple seen as a timid color? Or are there just not many mascots or team names that lend themselves to the color? It’s hard to say. My high school sports teams, the Willow Lake Pirates, had purple and gold, so from childhood on I accepted purple as a normal sports jersey color. Maybe you have to be born into it?
Those who are brave enough to go against the grain and wear purple, we salute all of you. Here are our rankings of who wore purple best.
10. Charlotte Hornets
The Hornets are one of the few remaining sports teams who sport the coolest 90s color of them all, teal. The purple accent color works well for the Hornets, but we’re not quite sure it works as well as the primary. Nevertheless, props to Charlotte for keeping that original scheme!
9. Phoenix Suns
Look, a lot of people are going to argue the Suns should be a lot higher on this list, but they wronged me years ago when they got rid of the classic Barkley-era sunburst shooting through the sky. These newer versions just don’t stack up!
8. Sacramento Kings
The Kings, much like Northwestern, get some credit for not relying on an accent color beyond white and silver. Unfortunately, the uniforms are just a little boring, in this writer’s opinion.
7. Los Angeles Kings
Ice and purple must just not mix. The Kings are the only NHL team to feature any purple in their color scheme, and it’s very muted on their logo. But these new throwbacks are pretty dang slick.
6. LSU Tigers
Now we’re getting into the real contenders. I don’t know how a school with the nickname of Tigers landed on purple and yellow as its colors over, say, a more traditional orange and black, but I’m glad they did. This look is very sharp and clean.
5. Baltimore Ravens
Somewhat like a tiger, a raven doesn’t appear to be super purple at first glance. At second glance, though, one can actually detect a purplish hue in the bird’s feathers! Regardless, the Ravens use the color well in their uniform lineup, especially these color rush uniforms.
4. Colorado Rockies
Now that the Diamondbacks don’t have a purple alternate jersey (I think… man they have a lot of different uniforms) the Rockies are baseball’s only glimmer of purple left standing. Unfortunately, they typically wear either black or white and don’t splash in the purple alternates quite enough. Don’t be afraid, Rockies!
3. Minnesota Vikings
Before the Ravens came along, the Vikings were the only NFL team brave enough to embrace purple. The team’s famous Purple People Eaters defensive line of the late 60s made it okay to wear purple in public. The team’s current color rush uniforms, like the Ravens’, are 🔥
2. Los Angeles Lakers
The nickname and color scheme is all wrong for so many reasons. Lakes aren’t purple, and Los Angeles is definitely not known as a city of lakes, like Minneapolis was before their relocation. But it has stuck, and it works. I bet if you polled 100 sports fans to name the first purple team that comes to mind, 80 would say the Lakers.
1. Washington Huskies
Of all the teams that have purple uniforms, I think Washington wears it best. The purple and true gold combo are a sight to see! Whereas other teams claim their colors are purple and gold, but then wear yellow instead of gold, Washington’s NCAA teams stays true to the gold. It’s a can’t-miss combo!
If this uniform were more than a once-a-year thing, it would easily have topped my list. Minnesota, do right by Prince and make this the standard color scheme! Also, I can’t be sure that’s actually considered purple and not magenta.
What do you think, sports fans and fashionistas? Who did we blatantly forget and disparage? What’s your favorite of the purples?