The Toronto Raptors will debut their special Canadian Forces fourth jersey as part of their annual Canadian Forces Appreciation Night on Wednesday when they host the Chicago Bulls. Wednesday’s contest will mark the first time an NBA team has worn a camouflage jersey during a game. More than 300 members of the Forces from CFB Borden, Toronto and Trenton will be honoured and recognized throughout the game, which will feature special Forces-inspired in-arena programming and messages.
As part of the tribute to the Canadian Forces there will be a special pregame Flag Party, player address and Forces gameball delivery. Following the game, all Canadian Forces in attendance will be invited to the court for a group photo and a meet and greet with players, Dance Pak and The Raptor.
“We are honoured to recognize the sacrifice and commitment of the brave men and women who serve in the Canadian Forces,” said Tom Anselmi, executive vice-president and chief operating officer of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. “This game and the team’s camo jersey are just small gestures that show our organization’s commitment and appreciation for what the Forces do for our country.”
The jersey is a natural extension of the Raptors and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment’s longstanding support of Canada’s military. The team’s Canadian Forces jersey has a distinct Canadian flavour with a maple leaf featured in centre on the back neck of the jersey, emphasizing that the Raptors are Canada’s team. From a design perspective, the jersey is in the style of Canada’s CADPATTM (Canadian Disruptive Pattern) (TW) – Temperate woodland design, which is a four-colour camouflage pattern stemming from data gathered scientifically across its environment, and tested both in field trials and in simulation using such sophisticated sensors.
Over the past two seasons sales of exclusive Canadian Forces Maple Leafs and Marlies merchandise have raised more than $30,000 for the Military Families Fund and 20% of gross sales from all ‘exclusive’ Canadian Forces/Toronto Raptor merchandise will be donated to the MLSE Team Up Foundation, directed to the Military Families Fund and its Soldier On Program. This money will be used to provide recreational experiences for families of Canadian Forces soldiers injured in action.
In addition to the March 21 game, the new uniform will be worn during the following home games: Monday, March 26 versus the Orlando Magic, Sunday, April 1 versus the Washington Wizards and Monday, April 16 versus the Atlanta Hawks.
For more information visit www.raptors.com.