I passed on this story last week because it didn't seem that noteworthy, but that was until today. A few people got upset with the "homophobic nature" of a few of Wieden+Kennedy's latest efforts for Nike's "Hyperdunk" shoes and the company has in turn pulled a few of the ads....
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.I really have no idea how this spiraled out of control, but Nike has pulled the three ads seen within this post. While some sites like Out Sports don't seem to find a problem, in the end it's a good move. The ads seemed like a sloppy effort at best and certainly could be taken as perpetuating stereotypes. That's not something we need more of in Sports these days.
However, after listening to concerns expressed around specific executions, we have decided to drop them from the campaign to underline our ongoing commitment to supporting diversity in sport and the workplace.
Nike has a strong record of support for diversity and is proud to have been honored with a 100 percent score over several consecutive years in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's Corporate Equality Index.
Nike drops three Hyperdunk ads (Oregon Live)
Some Nike crotch-to-the-face ads are catching "homophobic" heat (Out Sports)