Nike is in hot water over a new Olympics t-shirt they’ve released, especially since it’s only being offered for women.
The plain black shirt boldly states “Gold Digger” across the chest. The product was intended to reference aspiring to win an Olympic gold medal, but some Facebook and Twitter users would beg to differ.
“Sort of undermines the strong woman image Nike has spent $$ to market,” said one Twitter user.
“Whoever thought a Nike t’shirt emblazoned with ‘GOLD DIGGING’ was a fitting tribute to female Olympians shuld be fired,” said another.
Even the product description on WorldSoccerShop.com acknowledges the underlying tone behind the slogan. “We aren’t saying they’re gold diggers – we’re just saying they’re out for the gold! What’s wrong with that?”
Nike stands by the shirt. In a statement released to ABC News, the company said: “Nike has consistently supported female athletes and the position they enjoy as positive role models. The t-shirt uses a phrase in an ironic way that is relevant given it was released just as the world focused on the success of female athletes.”
But they’re not the only sports brand to stir the pot with controversial products. In June, Adidas decided to cancel their plans to release the “Shackle” shoe that critics said evoked slavery.
The shoe adorned with rubber fasteners was canceled after an image posted on the Adidas Originals Facebook page ignited a firestorm of controversy. The photo of the shoes, dubbed JS Roundhouse Mids by the company, was captioned, “Tighten up your style with the JS Roundhouse Mids dropping in August. Got a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles?”
Critics, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson, called the $350 shoe racist and intensive, saying it evokes the era of slavery.