Is This Nike 'Gold Digging' Shirt In Bad Taste?

Senior Writer
08.16.12 14 Comments

Now that we’re in the summer’s sports lull – albeit a shortened lull, thanks to the Summer Olympics – people need to find whatever they can to complain about. For instance, I just started work on my first book, “Call Me Tired: One Man’s Plea To End Carly Rae Jepsen Parodies”, due out in paperback by September 2019. But it appears that the rest of the Internet is focusing its rage on Nike for the above t-shirt that it released for women, as a way to celebrate how awesome America’s female athletes were at the Olympics.

In case you missed the emasculating statistic, American women accounted for 58 of the country’s 104 overall medals and 29 of the 46 overall gold medals. Hence, gold digging. However, thanks to our society’s warming embrace of old, wealthy men marrying young, attractive women, this shirt is apparently a negative thing. Gee, I hope ABC News’ source of anger is well-qualified…

“Sort of undermines the strong woman image Nike has spent $$ to market,” said one Twitter user.

Coming tomorrow: My YouTube commenter breakdown of Nike’s “Gold Digging” commercial. (I really wish that existed.)

“Whoever thought a Nike t’shirt emblazoned with ‘GOLD DIGGING’ was a fitting tribute to female Olympians shuld be fired,” said another.

Why? Are all of the U.S. women’s athletes sleeping with billionaires and going on lavish shopping sprees before re-boarding their private helicopters and flying back to their yachts in St. Tropez? Because if they’re not, I think it’s a pretty clever play on words. But what the hell do I know?

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.”

Agreed. And that’s not just because I’m a Nike whore (send me stuff, please). This is just a stupid, stupid argument. Well, it’s not really stupid until we compare it to something completely out of context.

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.

These shoes, with the My Pet Monster-inspired cuffs that the designer probably should have known were a bad idea.

You’ve got to be kidding me. If this shirt really offends people that much, I went ahead and designed a new shirt for Nike to sell specifically to these offended Tweeters…

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