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Illustration for article titled Ritually Edgy T-Shirts Prompt Ritual Coverage Of Ritually Outraged Criticism

The Associated Press reports that the dry-goods sales-and-marketing company Nike has provoked a reaction by selling t-shirts designed to provoke a reaction. The shirts include "the phrases 'Dope,' 'Get High' and 'Ride Pipe,'" the AP reports.

The shoe and athletic apparel company said the terms are part of the lingo used by the skaters, snowboarders and participants in other extreme sports it's trying to target with the shirts. But critics say the slogans endorse drug use.


Places, everyone! "It's gone past edgy," said [a spokesperson for an advocacy group]. [A politician] asked that the shirts be removed from a window display in [the city where that politician holds office].

Nike, based in Beaverton, Ore., recently has increased its marketing surrounding extreme sports and said the new shirts promote sports — not illegal drug use.


"[Drugs are bad]," said [an executive of a crusading anti-drug organiation]. "Totally irresponsible," [the executive] said.

Nike has long pushed the envelope with its products and marketing efforts.

[A sports-business academic at a sports-business institute, whose name and affiliation were given in duplicate, in consecutive paragraphs by the AP] said, "I understand their edginess...[but] it is in poor taste."

However, [the sports-business academic] and other marketing experts said Nike might be laughing all the way to the bank. The controversy could generate more attention and spur sales of the shirts, they say.

"I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing," said [a different sports-business academic].

The shirts are 100 percent cotton and are $20 at Nike's online store.


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