The university released photos Monday of its Wounded Warrior uniforms, which the Wildcats will don instead of their usual purple for their upcoming home game against Michigan on Nov.16.
The grey jerseys feature the red, white and blue of the American flag splattered with simulated blood on the helmet, gloves, pants and shoes. They have been labeled an "asymmetrical patriotic mish-mash."
Where players' names usually are, one of seven core values is printed: Duty, Honor, Courage, Commitment, Integrity, Country and Service.
After the game, the Under Armour jerseys worn by players will be auctioned online, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the Wounded Warriors Project. Additionally, 10 percent of proceeds from the $74.99 non-game jerseys sold will go to the foundation.
The red splattered jerseys have been called everything from "disgraceful" to "classy" by the people who have seen them.
'Isn't 'flag covered in blood' a little on-the-nose for something honoring a group that operates programs for injured veterans?' Deadspin's Barry Petchesky asked on Monday.
Northwestern spokesman Paul Kennedy defended the design on Monday and apologized for any "misinterpretation."
"It's a distressed pattern on both the stars and stripes that was inspired by the appearance of a flag that has flown proudly over a long period of time," he said.