TUA Asks: Nike Samoan-Inspired Tattoo Tight Uproar…Innocent or Ignorant?

Nike-Pro-Tattoo-Tech-Tights TUA Asks: Nike Samoan-Inspired Tattoo Tight Uproar…Innocent or Ignorant? Does Retail Fitwear Giant Step Over the Line With Its Design?
By Adriana Cesar, TUA

Nike has halted production of it's Samoan-tattoo inspired women's running tights, bodysuit, and sports bra, after an online uproar from Samoans and other tribes called the giant clothing and shoe manufacturer "racist" for using sacred 2,000 year old male rite of passage markings on its women clothing line. I innocently bought and sported the new Nike tights back in July, and even posted them on my tumblr blog/Instagram….never dreaming they'd become so controversial. But they have.

The footwear and apparel giant thought intricate, painful marks used for centuries as a male rite of passage would make great leggings.  But after a huge online uproar from Samoans and other tribal groups, Nike has pulled its black-and-white women's Pro Tattoo Tech tights. Petitioners pointed out that not only was the company ripping off the Samoan Pe'a pattern that's rarely seen on folks who aren't Samoan, but it used the pattern on women's clothing when it's only applied to men. Nike apologized saying it hadn’t meant to offend any group and would no longer produce the pants because they were of a limited run anyway.

Nike has goofed before in trying to mix cultural references with apparel sales. Just last year, it introduced a special pair of "Black and Tan" training sneakers for St. Patrick's Day, but had to slink away from those when it discovered that "Black and Tans" weren't Guinness-based drinks that some bartender concocted, but an incredibly malicious British paramilitary unit best known for committing various atrocities against the Irish.

It's not particularly adept at making those connections in the U.S., either. About a month ago, it had to pull a shirt for the NFL's Carolina Panthers when it put a picture of South Carolina on the garment in question. The team plays in Charlotte, which is decidedly in North Carolina. There was far less to chuckle about in April, when Nike pulled T-shirts featuring the blood-splattered words "Boston Massacre" from stores in days after the Boston Marathon was bombed.. (Source: MSN.com)

THOUGHTS?   — Adriana Cesar, TUA

top photo credit from: www.nikeblog.com


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