There are many problems that are associated with gangs. One of the main problems is people are often victims of violence because they are mistaken for gang members. Many gang members wear sports team apparel to represent their gangs for one reason or another. The gangs adopt this clothing because the logos or colors relate to their gangs. There are many gangs in Chicago that adopt sports logos as symbols for their gangs.
This practice by gangs first came to my attention after reading a short article in ESPN magazine called “Capology”, which highlighted some of most popular sports caps that are used for gang affiliation. I found it to be very interesting but alarming because many of the gangs mentioned were out of Chicago which completely surrounds the town I live in. I decided to research some of the gangs that are in Chicago and which sports logos that each gang adopted.
One of the first gangs I looked at was the Maniac Latin Disciples which is sprinkled throughout the city. They use logos from the Minnesota Twins, Miami Marlins, and Michigan Wolverines because of the “M” used in each teams’ logo. The next gang I looked into was the Simon City Royals which was established in the Humboldt Park area (which I used to drive through). (Source 4) Some of the logos they use include the Kansas City Royals for the name and their colors. They wear Colorado Rockies gear because gang members draw an “S” in front of the “CR” logo. They also wear Detroit Lions clothing due to the coloring and symbol of a lion. The Satan Disciples wear gear from San Diego Padres for the “S&D” logo. This gang also wears Indiana University and Arizona State University gear due to fact that the IU logo resembles a pitchfork and ASU has a pitchfork logo.
The Gangster disciples are a bigger gang spread through most of the city. They wear Georgetown gear for the “G” symbolizing gangster, also worn for the colors. Georgetown gear is also worn because Hoya (team name) is an acronym for “Hoovers on your ass” in honor of the gangs founder Larry Hoover. (Source2)This gang also wears gear from the Detroit Tigers and Los Angeles Dodgers for their “D” emblems and their blue color scheme. Members of this gang can also be seen wearing Houston Astros and Dallas Cowboys gear to honor their alliance to the Folk Nation.
The Latin Kings wear gear from the Los Angeles and Sacramento Kings due to the name and the black in the colors of both teams. They also wear gear from the Pittsburgh Pirates and Steelers because of the black and yellow colors. The Vice Lords an alliance to the Latin Kings wear gear from several sports teams. The Vice Lords wear gear from the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks for their colors. They also wear St. Louis Cardinals gear for the colors and the “SL” stands for Spanish lord. University of Nevada Las Vegas is also popular with the vice lords not only for the colors but UNLV backwards is an acronym “Vice Lords Nation United”. (Source 2)
Many sports teams if not all are adopted by gangs for some reason or another. Not everyone who wears sports apparel is a gang member. However if you are going through the city and a person is wear a certain teams gear and is in fact part of a gang you can now identify which gang he/she may be a part of. Many people are not aware of gang symbols and how they may adopt sports logos as their own. It is nice to be aware of things that are going on around you. In an article I read, one Chicago cop that worked in the gang enforcement unit was upset about Arizona State’s new logo, a pitchfork. He stated that because of the resemblance to the Satan Disciples existing pitchfork logo the gang was most likely going to adopt the logo as its own. (Source 1)