OK, that’s it. The antipathy Unbeige has for Nike has been well documented. Now there’s another nail in the coffin: Pitchfork reports that Nike has copped an album cover from Minor Threat, the early ’80s D.C. underground band, and used it to promote a new skateboarding campaign.
This totally reminds us of the queasy feeling we had when we first saw that car commercial set to Baba O’Riley. Oh, but wait: Dischord Records, the label behind the Minor Threat catalog, didn’t agree to license the cover to Nike. Pitchfork gets a quote from the label:
Nike represents just about the antithesis of what Dischord stands for and it makes me sick to my stomach to think they are using this explicit imagery to fool kids into thinking that the general ethos of this label, and Minor Threat in particular, can somehow be linked to Nike’s mission. It’s disgusting.
It’s also sad: We don’t know if Dischord is still run out of a house in suburban Maryland or what, but if they decide to take legal action against Nike, it’s hardly going to mar the corporate behemoth’s image. On the other hand, how do you go messing with the 10th most punk person in the world? That’s balls, Nike.
Pitchfork makes a good point: “Come on, Nike, your Swoosh is one of the most iconic brand images in the world, perhaps a tiny notch below the Golden Arches and maybe Coca-Cola; you don’t need to be appropriating another culture for yourselves.”
Personally, we can’t wait for the Major Threat television commercial, set to this jaunty Minor Threat tune:
It’s just not fair
You did nothing to deserve it
You did nothing at all
Sit back and watch
It turns from bad to worse
No matter how loud you cry
It always hurts
Boy I’m glad I’m not in your shoes
(Related: Andrew Krucoff is pissed.)
UPDATE: Nike apologizes.