Beloved British soccer team Manchester United is apologizing after provoking outrage among fans with a newsletter featuring a swastika-like logo alongside the phrase "New Order," once used as a Nazi slogan.
"It has been pointed out that the graphic had design similarities to a swastika which, combined with other connotations of the phrase 'new order,' has caused offense which was entirely unintended," the team said Sunday, BBC News reported. "For this, United Uncovered unreservedly apologizes."
The team said the phrase "New Order" was a reference to the Mancunian band of the same name, plus to the team's new talent. The phrase was also used as a political slogan by Adolf Hitler.
The resemblance between the Manchester United logo –– which spelled out the letters "M-U-F-C" in a blocky, stylized font –– and the notorious Nazi symbol had sparked outcry among fans who received the newsletter, with some questioning how the team could not have noticed the similarity.
The newsletter created a Twitter storm of fans expressing their displeasure.
— Rob Magee (@robmagee86) October 26, 2013
Another user joking wondered whether England national team manager Roy Hodgson, who recently drew fire for a joke he made about a space monkey and a player of color, were behind the logo design.
— Owen Cyrus Hughes (@Cyrus187187) October 28, 2013
The logo controversy comes at an inopportune time for one of the most popular soccer teams in the world, as Manchester United has struggled and sits in eighth place in English Premiere League standings.