Nike Removes Balaclava Accused of Promoting Gang Culture
After receiving a huge online backlash, Nike has removed their recent Matthew Williams-designed balaclava.
The backlash saw claims that the sports brand is profiting from and promoting gang culture.
Many took to Twitter earlier this week to express their disapproval of the product, highlighting the way in which it reinforces racial stereotypes by featuring a black model. Further criticism surrounded the products’ targeting of impressionable youths, with the balaclava styled with shoulders straps that somewhat resemble holsters.
This is a disgrace #Nike marketing Gang Culture a £70 Balaclava. #knifecrime is out of control especially in London. Gang Culture is becoming out of control. This is disgusting gang culture fashion for profit. I can’t believe this is happening ! pic.twitter.com/w2gtAVK7Vt
— Pete Price (@PeteCityPrice) August 20, 2018
I think you’ve made a big mistake on this one, targeting the current Gang culture for profit, there’s 100’s of dead kids parents that you should be thinking about before you made these, let alone put them out for sale. pic.twitter.com/lPRoYWzyWX
— MR DT © (@MrDtAFC) August 19, 2018
In a statement given to The Independent, Nike stated that they in no way intended to promote gang culture with their product.
“These products were part of a wider Nike Training collection, styled on different models and available in multiple markets around the world,” a Nike spokesperson said.
“We are in no way condoning or encouraging the serious issue of criminal and gang culture.”
Other commenters have expressed confusion over the criticisms made about the balaclava. They highlighted that the item is designed to protect the face while skiing and/or training in the cold.
The £70 GBP balaclavas are currently sold out at major retailers and have now been removed from the retailer’s site.
Source: The Independent