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Only days after the release of the highly anticipated Nike Hyperdunk, Nike has pulled one of the ads.

Launched in the month prior to the release of the Hyperdunk, Nike had a series of ads that features a man dunking on a defender while wearing the Nike Hyperdunk.?? Written across the images are regular on-court trash talking phrases; however for some individuals, one of the ads is a little too hard to swallow.

The ad in question depicts a man dunking on another with the face of the defender close to the crotch of the dunker with the caption of “That Ain’t Right.” The accusations are that the said caption may cause people to think that homosexuality “ain’t right” due to the placement of the defenders face.

An excerpt of an official press release from Nike states,

Nike is strongly opposed to discrimination of any kind and has a long history of supporting athletes regardless of their sexual orientation. The advertisement in question is based purely upon a common insight from within the game of basketball – the athletic feat of dunking on the opposition, and is not intended to be offensive.

Perhaps the individuals who complained are not familiar enough with Olympic basketball history and one of the most memorable images from the sport being that of Vince Carter dunking over a flat-footed 7′ 2″ defender at the 2000 Sydney Games.?? While we are not aware of who or what organization complained to the Oregon based company, it would be pretty fair to assume they did not do a little research about who they were accusing of spreading homophobia.

Nike recently was honored with a perfect score of 100 by Human Rights Campaign Foundation???s Corporate Equality Index and just last year, the Wes Coleman, VP of Nike Human Resources addressed the Oregon Legislature supporting new bills SB 1000 and SB1073. These bills banned the discrimination of any kind including sexual orientation in the workplace as well as secured benefits of employees to be the same for those in same sex relationships. Weiden and Kennedy, the firm who put together this campaign, is another company that has a very progressive corporate policy as well. Most recently they worked a campaign that featured Old Spice’s new spokesman Neil Patrick Harris, an openly gay man.

This could continue on forever if wanted to analyze, but sometimes I love that I can just throw my hands up and say hey, they’re just shoes. The gist, coming after someone without doing your proper homework makes you a fool and hurt the cause so many others are fighting for.

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