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.

Comments (238)
  1. Walter says:

    I favor black abortions….fewer welfare recipients in the next generation.

  2. peter998899 says:

    The bottom line is that the store, Niketown, will experience a quick upsurge in sales, as this is free advertising. The store will probably sell most of the shirts. If the manager has any intelligence, he or she won’t continue selling these type of shirts. It gives Nike a bad name. And long term, it will hurt sales. There’s only so much abuse the public will take before their wallets will do the voting form them.

    Sort of reminds me of a shirt I saw many years ago when MADD was formed. The shirt said – DAMM – Drunks Against Mad Mothers.

    These are classless shirts worn by classless individuals. If you see someone with one of these shirts on, there is little chance they will land a decent job and contribute to society. Society will change what the Mayer cannot.

    Finally, what does the sale say about the manager of the store who displays these shirts. What type of customer is he or she looking for?

  3. Cynic says:

    It is the Law of uninteded consequences…..When Clinton Appointed Ray Flynn to the Vatican did he have any idea that it would saddle us with Meatball Menino for the next 100 years.

  4. CR says:

    Hhm, isn’t there that right we all have… What’s it called.. Oh yeah… FREE SPEECH. Also FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION. If he doesn’t like the shirt, he doesn’t have to buy it. Plus the war on drugs is B.S. anyways, legalize and tax them, at least pot, which all non-U.S. government studies every done have been found to be less harmful than alcohol, we need the money.

  5. NooYawkah says:

    I think we are overlooking the main point of this article, which is that Boston sucks.

  6. Tkay says:

    Brilliant! Just when you forget Nike exists, they make a move like this. Marketing genius.

  7. etb says:

    I am not into sports but do know the meaning of the terms in context as applied.
    The Mayor should educate himself and apply some humor and tolerence. 3 things he should be encouraging in our youth.
    Hang in there NIKE, keep up the ads.

  8. FedUp! says:

    Those sayings are disgusting. Nike says athletes use those slogans?! Really?! I can only guess what segment of the population they are referring to!!!!

  9. gary says:

    leftwing nuts at it again, they can’t stand any views outside their own.
    They only tolerate views they agree with

  10. John says:

    I hope all you new-found lefty free speech advocates felt just as outraged when cities were forced to remove billboards correctly pointing out that black babies are aborted at a much higher rate than whites.
    In December 2010, New York’s health department released figures that almost 60% of black pregnancies resulted in abortion. The rate was 41% for all pregnancies. Nationally, according to the Guttmacher Institute, black women get 30% of abortions even though blacks make up only 13% of the population. In Georgia, black women get 58% of abortions. This makes Georgia the leading state for black abortions.
    But I know you weren’t…hypocrite lefties.

  11. Lori says:

    Oh I get it. What was I thinking. Now I understand. Thanks!

  12. London says:

    I am not a Mumbles fan! But he has a right to his opinion. Obviously Nike is not taking down their display. My problem is I’m college educated and cannot find a job. I’m diabetic,lost my health insurance and don’t have one cent coming in.Unemployment has ended as well. I wish Menino would spend some more time worrying about these problems! Instead of making people wait on hold for 2 hours at unemployment how about hiring a few of the people that are unemployed? So when I go into a diabetic shock laying in front of the Nike store because I’m homeless and I’m living on little Debbie snacks I guess the last thing I’ll see are these cool, artistic shirts. Thanks Mayor!!!

  13. Sheri says:

    wait…didn’t Massachusetts voters decriminalize small amounts of marijuana a couple years ago? So they’d rather infringe on 1st amendment rights than deal with the consequences of their stupid votes. Sorry liberals, you reap what you sow.

  14. Matt says:

    Isn’t it ironic the tv correspondent’s name is john shortsleeve

  15. Just Me says:

    Yawn–the ruling class just loves to be on TV don’t they? If someone wants to get high because of a T-shirt have at it. But please don’t ask me to pay for it, pay for treatment or even worse have to listen to Menino whine. Please?

  16. TheAlmighty$$$ says:

    Like most corporations, Nike is interested in making $$$ and could care less about offending someone or saving lives…

    1. Joel says:

      Like most idiots, you still haven’t figured out that the point of business is to make money. The only ones that don’t have that as their goal are called non-profits.

  17. rex dart eskimo spy says:

    Why can’t nike spend the money on speech therapy?

  18. bert says:

    the country is flat broke. unemployment is actually 20% which means DEPRESSION. your freedom is not even slowly being taken away everytime big sis twitches. us citizens are being blown to bits in wars that are nothing more than put up jobs under the pretense of a war on terror. the dollar is purposely being trashed by the leaders of the us thus leading to higher and higher expenses for each citizen. and a t-ahirt is the big news in boston???

  19. P Miller says:

    PEOPLE!! Lighten UP!! The consumers who those shirts are aimed at know exactly what they mean. Action Sports are real sports, and those a very real expressions. We’re talking about TEE shirts here. Just tee shirts…

  20. BOB says:

    Now, the Mayor wants to ruin a small company that uses segways to tours around

    Boston. Mayor will not be happy until Boston looks like Detroit.

  21. patty says:

    As a volunteer in a max security prison, I can tell you “getting high” is primary cause of 90% of the women in there. They are young, beautiful women who had potential, but who ended up selling their personhood, their kids, their families, their futures to “get high.”…. . If I showed this to my girls and asked them to vote on the display they would go with the mayor. We have a responsibility to our young people… Sorry, this gal votes with the mayor!

    1. Joel says:

      I like how you seem to suggest that these people will not get high unless they see a shirt that suggests it. How dumb do you think young people are?

  22. BOB says:

    The Mayor parking band costing Bruin fans over 100,000 in fines.(Sat) In a period

    of time when people need something to give them some happiness. King Mumbles

    should run for mayor in Vancouver, he fit right in there with those knuckleheads.

  23. joel says:

    Yeah that’s what they should do. Instead of advertising for their brand and merchandise, they should use all that money to do a campaign that has nothing to do with their brand whatsoever or anything that has to do with their business whatsoever. Clearly you are in government, because you suggested they flush they money down the toilet.

    Menino, just because you’re offended doesn’t mean anyone has to give a f*ck about it.

  24. U.S. Common Sense says:

    For Nike to say that this is simply “commonly used and accepted expressions for performance” and not to imply “the use of banned or illegal substances” is completely rediculous. The KNOW what the terms “Dope” and “Get High” mean when it comes to drugs, and that people would buy the shirts simply for that reason. If by some miracle that they didn’t know that, then they aren’t as street smart as they are claiming to be.

    That said, it’s their money, and if they want to produce the shirts, they are allowed to. However, the zoning commission also has the right to ban certain types of advertising in their jurisdictions. While “Dope” and “Get High” shirts might be acceptable to be displayed, “F**k Gravity” would not be. Those shirts would have to be displayed only inside the store and away from the view of the general public on the street.

  25. GMan says:

    Now we will argue over whether it is just a simple choice of decency, or it’s not so bad. Some will say that “Get High” alludes to basketball, and the non basketball players say it alludes to?

    The gravity one is really pathetic. Nike is appealing to a niche market and could care less about the rest of the market.

  26. CB says:

    This is just merely a sign of where our society has gone. It seems to me it’s the other way around. The shirts don’t promote such behavior. Rather the wrong behavior promotes such shirts.

  27. Derrick says:

    The mayor is out of touch. He probably still uses terms like “23 skidd,” ya dig?

  28. barack bush says:

    Yeah, I’m really interested in what a tax-thieving, narcissistic bureaucrat has to say about anything. Put a target on the head and chest of bureaucrats and their dependents. Let the streets flow with blood.

  29. Chad Barnaby says:

    If I ran hat store i put a tea shirt up right next to the “Get High” Shirt that says
    PUCK Mayor Menino

  30. TM says:

    How, does a company so large have such pathetic understanding with regard to appropriate GENERAL advertising? If it is OK or Good for store windows it must be OK or Good for billboards and TV, etc.

    Nike, since you have no moral or ethical compass to go by, please place, or should I see try and place these types of ads on billboards and TV. Perhaps Saturday morning cartoons would be a great time slot?

    In short Nike, you disgust me. And people that choose to bag on someone that sees this as inappropriate and voices their concerns about it? Talk about Hypocrisy. OK for Nike to speak their TRUE thoughts, but not detractors?


  31. judy love says:

    , Bin Laden is standing before God, awaiting his punishment, when God gets a tap on the shoulder….there, behind him stood 343 fireman, 72 police officers, one K9 officer, 3000 american citizens, and over 5000 soldiers………” Don’t worry God, we got this one.” It was a special request and GOD can let them do what ever they want

  32. DUH says:

    Mayor Short Bus should go f**k himself and let the grown ups take care of the important stuff

  33. Joan Hogan says:

    Maybe NIKETOWN will give out Free Shirts with this logo to the Mayor ! or Better yet maybe have people wear their shirts with this logo to the Fourth of July Events. I am sure the Mayor will be thrilled.

  34. Denise Krochta says:

    What are they thinking! I know money, money, money. Well, freedom of speech and all that aside, I spend my “freedom of speech” time trying to help families and friends of those who love addicts and alcoholics to navigate through the chaos and drama this brings to their world, with some kind of peace and calm. While many wonderful groups and organizations are spending time and money on prevention and discouraging these activities, others I see here are vying for the same bucks to encourage them. Won’t it be interesting (although I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy) when someone responsible for this kind of Nike thing ends up being on the “other side”. Statistics show it is probably inevitable. God Bless America!

  35. Patricia Morris says:

    I have a new shirt too….


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  37. F**k gravity says:

    I know everyone on here wants to talk about morals. But where the hell do you get off saying your morals have to be that of everyone. I don’t care if children cuss. They’re just words. If they do drugs, well parents, maybe you should watch them more closely. Don’t blame Nike because you believe in a stupid religion or because you’re a bad parent. Morals are created from religion and maybe one day we’ll learn that religion is the true devil. if a shirt that says “get high” makes your kid “get high” well, you might as well give them to children services because you suck at being a parent

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