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Is that White Sox hat the sign of a South Side fan, or the sign of something more dangerous?
The accoutrement of some baseball teams—specifically, their hats—are sometimes more popular than the actual teams themselves due to the hats' significance in gang culture, an article at Complex.com suggests.
For example, a recent Harris poll placed the Los Angeles Dodgers as the eighth most popular team in the league. However, the blue-and-white caps sell better than that because the colors are associated with several prominent gangs, the article states.
The L.A. Dodger cap tops the website's list of the ten most gang-affiliated hats in sports. The caps of the Cincinnati Reds, the Oakland Raiders, the Chicago Bulls, and the L.A. Kings round out the top five.
While gangs all over the country use sets of colors to represent themselves, a disturbing trend emerged from this "top ten" list.
Every single hat was reportedly adopted by at least one Chicago-based gang. In fact, some gangs had more than one hat, and some hats were affiliated with more than one gang.
In total, the ten hats were connected to 13 Chicago-based gangs.
Something of note: the Complex article neither lists a source nor explains how it determined the "most gang-affiliated" hats.
Still, it is disturbing to think that a sports hat might not signify loyalty to a favorite team but rather to a band of criminals.