Chris Heck is trying to make things right.
The 76ers president of business operations apologized Thursday for comments made during an interview with Uni Watch to defend the design of the team’s new black city edition uniforms featuring Boathouse Row.
In the interview, Heck said, "We actually don’t use the term ‘Philly,’ because we think it’s lazy and undersells the city. Sometimes, I think ' blue collar' does the same thing. We refer to it as ‘New Philadelphia.’
“Blue collar is important for the city, but’s not the only component ...”
He went on the say that New Philadelphia is about art, culture, education, and diversity.
“We like that narrative more than the blue-collar hockey thing,” he said.
Heck received widespread criticism on social media after his comments were published. Philadelphians, who prefer to label this city as “Philly,” take pride in being recognized as coming from a blue-collar town. They took his comments as being elitist and offensive to a city that in addition to being blue-collar has always been about art, culture, education, and diversity. The Flyers even made note of his comment about “the blue-collar hockey thing.”
“Clearly, I missed the mark," Heck wrote on Twitter in response to the criticism. "My intention was to highlight the incredible things happening here & showcase the pride we have for Philadelphia. I love this city and truly believe we have the best fans in sports. No other place comes close.”
There had been some anticipation about a possible Sixers jersey reveal the moment team legend Allen Iverson tweeted out a dark picture of himself last Friday. The Hall of Famer’s tweet had the message “Be on the lookout next week!!!”
With that, countless people on social media wondered if the Sixers were going to bring back the black uniforms from Iverson’s teams of the early 2000s.
Well, the Sixers did unveil a black 2020-21 city edition uniform on Tuesday. It was just not the one some people expected. Instead, the team opted for a black uniform with the Boathouse Row skyline to spotlight its connection to Philadelphia.