Nike slammed for selling headgear that critics say promotes gang culture
© Getty Images The Nike logo is displayed in a window at a Nike Store on September 26, 2017 in San Francisco, California. The sneaker giant is being criticized for selling a balaclava that some say exploits gang culture.Critics are slamming Nike for selling a head covering they say exploits gang culture for the sake of sales.
In a picture posted widely on Twitter and other social media, a black male model sporting tattoos wears a balaclava which covers most of his face and neck and has two dangling straps that some said resembled gun holsters.
The outrage was swift and sharp, particularly among users concerned about a wave of knife attacks that have taken place in the United Kingdom.
"This is a disgrace,'' tweeted Pete Price . "#Nike marketing Gang Culture . . . #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.''
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 !
Another Twitter user, David Riley, wrote "Hey @nike what are you thinking with this image on your website? Is he wearing a balaclava and a holster? I wonder what's meant to go in there. Don't act like you don't know there's a knife crime issue in London right now. You're not allowed to be this stupid.''
The piece is part of the Nike X MMW, a training clothing line that is a collaboration between the sneaker giant and designer Matthew M. Williams that made its debut July 12.
By late Tuesday morning, searches on Nike.com for "balaclava'' yielded no results. At AlyxStudio.com, which features Williams' Alyx label, the item was selling for 80 pounds, equal to $102.92.
Nike could not be immediately reached for comment.