I saw the consumer alert about Nike apparel for extreme sports with the phrases “Dope,” “Get High” and “Ride Pipe.” (A June 23 story reported “Nike faces antidrug backlash to shirts.”) This is appalling to me. If they are not condoning drug use, then why are they using a pill bottle image on the “Dope” T-shirt for the graphics of “skateboards” to fall out of? As a person who works with teenage boys at an inpatient drug-treatment facility, I know the boys love the fact that the shirts say “get high” and “dope” and brag about the fact that they are wearing drug-related shirts and can get away with it because it is Nike.
Nike is being irresponsible and blind by marketing this way. Teen drug use is a real problem. It is things such as this that cause a certain numbness and tolerance toward drug use and people laughing it off as “kids just being kids.” It is hard to bring attention to the problem and get the general public to not only see the problem, but take it seriously when major sponsors such as Nike do things like this.