Niketown has removed some controversial T-shirts from a Newbury Street window display, though the company said the change was not a response to complaints from Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino.
Last week, Menino sent a letter to the retailer asking them to remove shirts that read "Get High," "Dope," and "F--k gravity," with the middle two letters obscured. Menino said the references to drug use and profanity were "out of keeping with the character of Boston's Back Bay, our entire city, and our aspirations for our young people...not to mention common sense."
Nike refused the mayor's request, saying the shirts were part of their "Nike 6.0" action sports campaign. “In no way does Nike condone the use of banned or illegal substances," the retailer said in a statement last week. "This is about sport and being authentic to action sports.
As of Monday, some of the contested T-shirts were no longer on display. The "Dope" shirt, which features skateboards, snowboards, and other images spilling out of a pill bottle, was still in the window, while the other shirts were replaced with black shirts, some bearing the Nike slogan "Just Do It."
"As is normal with any retailer, we consistently refresh our windows with new inventory,'' Nike said in a statement. "All t-shirts featured in the current campaign continue to be for sale in the store and on-line. Our campaign began in early June, and as planned we will move to another new campaign shortly.”
In response, Menino's office Monday released the following statement: “While we are pleased to see these t-shirts removed from the Niketown display window, we will continue to advocate awareness about drug and substance abuse and promote positive messages for our youth.”