Nike’s attempt to introduce a new piece of headgear into their brand has backfired in a major way. New ads for their balaclava, a face covering similar in design to a ski-mask, are being pulled following backlash from critics who feel the item being worn by a Black model promotes gang culture while the company profits from racial stereotypes.

In addition to covering most of the face, the balaclava includes straps that appear to resemble shoulder holsters, with the visual rubbing several the wrong way.

“These products were part of a wider Nike Training collection, styled on different models and available in multiple markets around the world,” a Nike spokesperson told The Independent. “We are in no way condoning or encouraging the serious issue of criminal and gang culture.”



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