Football fans roast NFL after it unveils line of Ed Sheeran merchandise

Ed Sheeran is set to kickoff the NFL season, and football fans aren’t exactly excited about it.

Fans roasted the league online after it unveiled a collection of Sheeran-related NFL merchandise a day ahead of his performance at NFL Kickoff Experience before the Thursday’s season-opening game between the Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The NFL will kick off its season with a Thursday game for the 20th consecutive season, and Sheeran will join a long list of marquee artists—including Bon Jovi, Dave Matthews Band, Usher, Britney Spears and many others—to perform in conjunction with the season-opening event.

Ed Sheeran will perform at the NFL Kickoff Experience to the chagrin of football fans everywhere. Here he performs in concert on the opening night of his Australian tour at Optus Stadium on March 2, 2018 in Perth, Australia
Matt Jelonek/WireImage/Getty Images

Sheeran will perform a free concert at 7 p.m. ET at Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park on Thursday, about four miles from Raymond James Stadium, where the Bucs will raise their banner as Super Bowl champs. The Grammy Award-winning performer and pop superstar will become the first performer in two years to take the stage at the event after the 2020 concert was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fans have been poking fun at Sheeran performing at the season-opening event since he was announced as the headliner last month.

They also jabbed the league for its Sheeran-centered ad, where he was the focus ahead of Dak Prescott, Tom Brady, the Buccaneers or the wildly popular Cowboys.

But fans went off Wednesday when the league announced a Sheeran-centered clothing line that consisted of a navy hat, t-shirt and satin jacket with the league shield and the musician’s name on it.

Some mocked the league for creating the line in the first place.

This gotta be the most random collab I’ve ever seen

— 💤 (@SeattleSquad17) September 8, 2021

Why does Ed Sheeran need nfl merch. Who is purchasing it. I must have answers I won’t be able to sleep tonight

— Hannah (@hannahharshe) September 9, 2021

Others cited the pricing for each item. The unfitted hat costs $29.99, the t-shirt is $49.99 and the jacket will set fans back $249.99.

i need the people willing to spend $249.99 on an Ed Sheeran 2021 NFL season kickoff jacket to show themselves so i know never to be in their presence

— Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) September 8, 2021

Many also derided those who would wear the Sheeran-NFL items.

imagine going outside in the Ed Sheeran NFL jacket

— maya/lola (@forcefemmed) September 8, 2021

Fans weren’t the only ones roasting the campaign. Former NFL offensive lineman George Foster, who played 68 games with the Denver Broncos and Detroit Lions, offered a prediction for where the merch would ultimately end up.

They gonna have to send that Ed Sheeran NFL gear to the Philippines like the Super Bowl loser gear.

— FOST (@GeorgeFoster72) September 9, 2021

Some fans provided their own theories for whom the line was aimed, namely Rob Lowe. Lowe memorably had his viral moment while wearing an NFL-shield hat at the NFC Championship Game between the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers in January 2020, and many feel he’s the target audience for this merch as well.

I’m not an Ed Sheeran fan but I can see Rob Lowe buying this

— M.A. 💲 (@MiP2024) September 9, 2021

Going to lose it if Rob Lowe shows up wearing one of those Ed Sheeran hats.

— Kyle Koster (@KyleKoster) September 9, 2021

Rob Lowe is going to lose his mind when he sees this

— just your average Pleb™️ (@PFF_Casey) September 9, 2021

Sheeran, who is set to release a new single, “Shivers,” on Friday, seems excited about the concert. He promoted the event with an Instagram story Wednesday and starred in an exceptional unveil video posted August 6.

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