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Menino To Niketown: Take Down Controversial T-Shirt Display

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Mayor Menino wanted shirts like these taken down from the Niketown Display (photo courtesy: Nike.com)

Mayor Menino wanted shirts like these taken down from the Niketown Display (photo courtesy: Nike.com)

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BOSTON (CBS) – Mayor Tom Menino doesn’t like Niketown’s new window display at its Newbury Street store and he wants it taken down.

Menino said he was walking in the Back Bay with his wife recently and noticed T-shirts in the window with the expressions “Dope,” “Get High,” and “F**k Gravity” on them.

He believes the shirts promote drug use.

“Why would a national organization do that? Except to try stoop to the lowest common denominator to get people to buy their t-shirts,” the mayor told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 Tuesday.

WBZ-TV Chief Correspondent Joe Shortsleeve reports

“They should be out educating our young people about the damage drugs do to you. But in their windows on Newbury Street, they’re promoting the issue of drugs.”

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports

The mayor wrote a letter to the store’s general manager, asking her to remove the shirts from the window.

“Your window display of T-shirts with drug and profanity wordplay are out of keeping with the character of Boston’s Back Bay,” the letter read. “We urge you to remove them.

“Should your company decide to take more seriously the issue of drug abuse, Boston has several nation-leading programs that may be of interest.”

Read: Menino’s Letter (.pdf)

In a statement to WBZ-TV, Nike said:

“These t-shirts are part of an action sports campaign, featuring marquee athletes using commonly used and accepted expressions for performance at the highest level of their sport, be it surfing, skateboarding or BMX.  Nike does not condone the use of banned or illegal substances.”

Menino said the money spent on the campaign should be put it into drug prevention programs instead.

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