Nike has sparked controversy after it was accused of stereotyping black youths involved in violent gang culture.
The advert in question was a for a balaclava which covers the users full head and part of their chest, which the sportswear giant said was designed to keep wearers warm in cold weather.
It featured a young black model in a t-shirt and military style garment which many critics on social media have said resembles a holster.
Critics took to social media in their droves, accusing Nike of deliberately promoting and targeting gang culture.
Black guy wears a balaclava and this guy decides Nike is targeting gang culture. Racist much? https://t.co/2VUom3ziiN
— Hassan (@HassanAFC) August 19, 2018
Isn’t it more significant that this picture, where a young white lady wearing the same balaclava seems markedly less threatening.. compared to the young black guy.. surely that says more about our personal psyches, than it does Nike’s marketing approach..
— mystery glamour (@mysgarUK) August 19, 2018
Nike has since withdrawn the £69 balaclava, which was part of the Nikelab x MMW range, and responded to critics stating: “These products were part of a wider Nike Training collection,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.”