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Critics Burn Nike For Selling 'Menacing' Balaclava

Critics Burn Nike For Selling 'Menacing' Balaclava
There has been severe criticism of Nike after the sport apparel maker sold a balaclava which has been alleged to is related to stereotypes of black youths who are related to gang violence according to critics.
At the center of the controversy is the Nike x MMW balaclava which is a full face covering one and one that foes down the neck and across the upper chest of people wearing it. The product however has been removed from the company website as of Monday.
This is an apparel that is used to stay warm in cold conditions. Critics claimed that the advertising campaign that was launched by the company for this apparel featured it being worn by a young black model in a T-shirt along with another clothing which was similar to those worn by military special forces webbing which gives the impressions that the company wants to inspire those youth who want to don a gang-inspired look – like the kind popularised by drill music videos.
“You know these young people on the street adore these manufacturers, they buy everything that they sell,” said Paul McKenzie, a commentator who regularly tackles issues of crime affecting London’s black community in a widely watched video on Facebook.
“We look at images of young people on the street and they look menacing already, and so Nike decides to bring out a balaclava range which looks absolutely menacing. Maybe I’m getting old, maybe I’m a dinosaur, but this balaclava range looks quite inciteful [sic].”
Nike was also condemned by comedian White Yardie in a separate video that was posted on Twitter.
“Tell me this a joke, because right now it looks like you are targeting the young people who are involved in gang crime, and with all these recent stabbings that we have been seeing right now in London, this is definitely something we don’t want to see,” he said.
Priced at £69, Nike launched the NikeLab NRG Beryllium Balaclava x MMW on 12 July. The apparel is a part of a range of collaborations with Williams - well known designed who has designed clothes for the likes of Kanye West, Travis Scott and Tom Sachs.
While most of the other clothes in the range have been sold out, apparently, the balaclava seems to be the only one that had been totally withdrawn from sale. The webpage for the apparel in the company website on Monday did not have the product but message instead that said: “The product you are looking for is no longer available.”
Also included in the range is a £385 jacket with a hood that includes a built in face mask. 
“These products were part of a wider Nike Training collection, styled on different models and available in multiple markets around the world. We are in no way condoning or encouraging the serious issue of criminal and gang culture”, a Nike spokesperson said.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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