Nike’s ‘Gold Digging’ shirt labeled sexist
The 2012 London Games are being heralded as the women’s Olympics. 44% of all athletes participating in the Games were female, which is the highest it’s been. Women won the most medals for the US, China, and Russia, which were the top three medal-winning countries. 29 of the US’s 46 golds were won by women.
And how were the females rewarded? With a T-shirt from Nike that many are labeling sexist.
The shirt seen above is being sold on Nike’s online store and it has drawn criticism from different fashion blogs and Twitter users because of its dual meanings. “Gold Digging” can refer to the process of training for gold medals, but it’s also a reference to the phrase “gold digger,” which is a negative term for a woman who’s after a man for his money.
Nike was apparently hoping to receive attention for the provocative shirt. It lists the following description of the shirt on its website:
The Nike “Gold Digging” T-Shirt: Style that starts a conversation
When nothing less than the best will do, the Nike “Gold Digging” Women’s T-Shirt is up to the challenge with a bold design that’s a treat on the eyes in a slim, comfortable fit.
After realizing the stir the shirt created, Nike sent the following statement to Yahoo! fashion blog Shine:
“Nike has consistently supported female athletes and the position they enjoy as positive role models. The t-shirt uses a phrase in an ironic way that is relevant given it was released just as the world focused on the success of female athletes.”
Between this shirt and the one they handed out to the US women’s soccer team, it sure seems like Nike is doing its best to make the Olympics conversation about its clothing. Hey, that’s not too dissimilar of a strategy it employs when outfitting the Oregon football team. Maybe this is exactly what they wanted.