Nike faces anti-drug backlash to shirts

PORTLAND — Nike Inc. is being blasted for replacing its signature "Just Do It" slogan on some T-shirts with the phrases "Dope," "Get High" and "Ride Pipe."

The shoe and athletic apparel company said the terms are part of the lingo used by the skaters, snowboarders and participants in other extreme sports it's trying to target with the shirts. But critics say the slogans endorse drug use.

Boston's mayor has asked Nike to remove a display of the shirts. And an Oregon antidrug group condemned them in a letter sent to 1,500 people — including some at The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy — urging them to let Nike know they disapprove of the slogans.

"It's gone past edgy," said Tom Parker, spokesman for the Oregon Partnership. "Sure it is the language of skateboarders and surfers, but it's also the language of addicts."

Nike, based in Beaverton, recently has increased its marketing surrounding extreme sports and said the new shirts promote sports — not illegal drug use.

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