Nike accused of cashing in on London gang culture with £70 balaclava

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Nike has been accused of cashing in on London’s gang culture with their sold out £70 balaclavas.

People have slammed the brand after images of a black model wearing the Nike x MMW head garment, which includes what looks like a gun holster, started circulating online.

YouTuber Mr DT took to Twitter: ‘This is not right. I think you’ve made a big mistake on this one targeting the current gang culture for profit, there’s 100s of dead kids parents that you should be thinking about before you make these, let alone put them out for sale.’

Nike accused of cashing in on London gang culture with £70 balaclava

Nike accused of cashing in on London gang culture with £70 balaclava

Comedian White Yardie shared a video of his reaction to the garment, saying it looked like Nike was ‘targeting’ and ‘exploiting’ youths involved in gang crime – and that it needs to stop.

He said: ‘With all the recent stabbings we’ve been seeing in London, this is definitely not something we want to see.

‘Let’s be real the only people who will go and buy these are young people involved in gangs. Too much young people are dead and too much young people are doing the killings.’

Nike has since removed the sold-out item from the website.

A spokesperson told Metro.co.uk: ‘These products were part of a wider Nike Training collection, styled on different models and available in multiple markets around the world.

‘We are in no way condoning or encouraging the serious issue of criminal and gang culture.’

The headgear, designed to expose only part of the face, has been associated with the growing drill music culture in London.

Drill musicians are known for wearing balaclavas in their music videos while rapping about gang culture and have been accused of promoting violence.

London has been hit with a surge in knife crime this year, with 1,299 stabbings in London from January until the end of April, according to Met Police statistics.

One angry commenter wrote on Twitter: ‘Are Nike having a ******* laugh with this? As if the little scum bags that roam the streets with their hoods up on their North Face jackets needed anything else.

‘Why not get a Balaclava with a handy pocked for your knife.’

Jordan Douherty performs under the name Young Valenti with drill rap music group C17 (Picture: MixtapeMadness/YouTube)

Nike accused of cashing in on London gang culture with £70 balaclava

Another said: ‘Now Nike are endorsing gun and knife cime as well as enforcing racial profiling. Well done!!!’

A third added: ‘Nike stop selling the MMW Balaclava. We don’t want you selling this item to our kids, you are not only part of the problem. But you are profiting from it. Distasteful is an understatement.’

One linked the promotion to complaints earlier this year that Puma was ‘glamourising drugs’ with a party inspired by ‘council estate drug dealing in London’.

The brand invited people to the ‘House of Hustle’ where guests were sent Puma shoe boxes stuffed with burner phones, fake £50 notes and dodgy-looking business cards telling them ‘turn on the trap line’.

He said: ‘So we’ve had the Puma “Drug House” and now Nike are using a black guy to promote a balaclava with straps and pockets. Where there’s blood there’s money.’

But others defended Nike for selling the mask, often used by skiiers and snowboarders, with one saying: ‘Are you serious? If they need a balaclava they’d just get one somewhere else. “Yo you wanna go kill this guy?” “Yeah lemme cop this expensive Nike branded one first.’

Adding: ‘A balaclava has a use u know.’

Another one said: ‘Black guy wears a balaclava and this guy decides Nike is targeting gang culture. Racist much?’

A third added: ‘FFS it’s not as if Nike invented the balaclava. They’ve been around and been used since the 19th century. No need for this attention seeking tweet.’

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