Arsenal’s 24/25 away kit leaked, and it looks like a Wakanda special. I love it.

OPINION: While it seems like many fans of Arsenal don’t love next season’s away kit, I can’t wait to buy a replica jersey.

English Premier League,
From stripes to crests, soccer fans pore over every detail of their team's home and away kits with passion and scrutiny. (Photo by charnsitr/Adobe Stock Images)

Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.

I’m a fan of the English Premier League’s current top side, Arsenal. I make my kids watch Arsenal matches and pay specific attention to Bukayo Saka. My youngest child has an entire toddler Arsenal soccer kit — the uniform and attire worn by players for association football (soccer) teams — supplied by his godfather who went to London and came back bearing football gifts. And just like with all of the American sports, new uniform reveals are always entertaining, providing fodder for joy and pain. As a fan of the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers, there aren’t often many alterations to the uniform but I do get a kick out of the various uniform editions that exist for special games, etc. 

Recently, a leak of the new 24/25 season away kits hit the internet and had the streets (roads?) talking. Let me be clear: People complain, as a rule. Every single time a new kit is revealed — regardless of the team — social media is aflutter with people complaining. Sometimes, that complaining is warranted; I still have no idea why the design teams thought the kinda sorta fluorescent yellow with the black stripes and blue lettering kit was a move. But I’m sure some people loved it all the same. 

Such brings us to the recently leaked design for the away kits for next season and unlike many on message boards and Twitter, I love it, mostly because it looks like something that would have come out of Wakanda Design Studios (that’s not a thing). The jersey itself has a black base, with red and green stripes, a huge red Arsenal cannon (their team name is the Gunners and the logo is a cannon) and some curious white and black marble-looking pattern on the sleeves. If I’m being honest, it isn’t the greatest jersey I’ve ever seen but the color scheme alone makes it a complete joy. The American hip-hop fan in me sees nothing but the album cover for A Tribe Called Quest’s “The Low End Theory.” Shoot, I just started playing “Check The Rhime” in tribute. 


There’s something about the red, black and green combo that, of course, harkens to the pan-African flag that speaks directly to my revolutionary proclivities. But also, that color scheme really works on so many levels and with so many fly shoes. I don’t know if they were thinking about fashion when the pan-African flag colors were agreed upon but they hit THAT part of the design out of the park. And if I’m being honest, there is something that feels a bit Afrocentric about the design, too. Whether intentional or not, I can see the more melanated fans enjoying the kits a bit more than the non-melanated. I have absolutely nothing to support that assertion; I’m just saying. I think the kids these days like to say, IYKYK. For you old fogeys, that’s text/social media shorthand for “if you know you know,” which indicates a certain insider knowledge of a thing. I over-explained that; I’m getting old — I’m sorry. 

Anyway, as a person who buys jerseys as a sign of support for the teams I follow, I love that this particular away kit seems tailor-made for a certain…ahem….community of fans. Was that the reason? Probably not. But if it works it works, and, in this instance, this kit design works wonders for me. Wakanda isn’t a real place, but it lives rent-free in my heart and mind, and this looks like a Wakanda-style jersey. For that reason, I’m here for it, and can’t wait to buy one. 

For those folks who detest this thing — and I’ve seen a pretty sizable amount of tweets to support a less than enthused cadre of folks who do — we got past some of the more weird-looking designs; this too shall pass. Besides, the home kits have a strip of blue that I’m sure is about to drive the faithful even more bonkers. It’s one thing to mess with the away kit, but is the home kit getting cute? Whew chile, the ghetto. 

Now if you’ll excuse me, I must go wait for the official drop so that I can spend my hard-earned money. 

Wakanda-salute. IYKYK.

Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is a columnist at theGrio. He writes very Black things, drinks very brown liquors, and is pretty fly for a light guy. His biggest accomplishment to date coincides with his Blackest accomplishment to date in that he received a phone call from Oprah Winfrey after she read one of his pieces (biggest), but he didn’t answer the phone because the caller ID said: “Unknown” (Blackest).