Dear Nike and Adidas,
I am writing because I am a frustrated mother and teacher. Where is my frustration coming from, you ask? Your two companies. That’s right. I am extremely frustrated and disappointed with your two companies right now. To be honest, I am also a little shocked.
Here’s why. In the last few weeks, my 7th grade students have walked into my classroom sporting new spring clothing. Winter is long gone here in MN, and boys and girls alike are thrilled to bust out their t-shirts and shorts. I, too, have been happy to ditch my sweaters. Short sleeves aren’t my problem. The logos and sayings on your t-shirts currently sold to males are my issue.
The first t-shirt I abhorred went like this “Lazy, But Talented.” Right below this awful phrase came the ever-so-recognized Nike Swoosh. Yep. Nike. The company that makes my GPS watch and most of my running clothes is now promoting laziness. In teenage boys nonetheless. Really, Nike? You find it t-shirt worthy to promote the fact you are lazy? I’m appalled because I didn’t think being lazy was something to be proud of. As a provider of sports apparel and equipment, I didn’t think you would promote laziness. Perhaps hard work is something you should be promoting instead. Our current population of adolescents already struggles with instant gratification and working hard, yet here you are promoting its acceptability. I find it hard to believe current top athletes you sponsor would want to wear this shirt. You better believe my two sons will NEVER wear that shirt.
Then we have this one. Are you ready? “Winners Like It On Top.” Yep. I have 7th grade hormonal boys sporting this Adidas shirt at school. (Well, they did before I made them change.) And don’t try to play the game by saying, “They like it on top of the podium.” Yes, top athletes like to win athletic competitions. But you are fooling yourself if you think young teenage boys aren’t thrilled to try and get away with a shirt that sports a double meaning like that.
Needless to say, I don’t plan on buying any new Nike or Adidas apparel any time soon. I can’t afford to throw away my watch or the clothes I already own, but it will take a long time before I support these two brands with my money. And it will take awhile before these brands aren’t tarnished for me.