The homophobia brouhaha surrounding Wieden + Kennedy’s latest Nike ad

Nike’s newest “hyperdunk” ad, created by local Portland ad agency Weiden and Kennedy, has come under some recent fire for its possible homophobia. And while I saw this picture yesterday, wherein a basketball players crotch ends up in the face of his opponent as he dunks the ball over the stunned player, I chose not to post it.

In a world where intense homophobia still exists, a world where gender deviant people are barred even from gay clubs, I saw this ad as, at the worst, a played out joke.

No one deserves an unwanted crotch in the face. It ain’t right. And, as I said in a comment string about the ad, we, as a queer community, need to learn to pick our battles. Even GLAAD (the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), any queer’s source for deciding whether or not to be offended if they have no opinion of their own, have not issued a formal statement, although they have covered the news story.

And that is where I went wrong. Though I may pick and choose my battles differently, the comments over on the Playbooks and Profits blog indicate that this is a topic people wish to discuss.

Whether you do so here or there I would hope to hear the opinions of some of the members of our community. Because so far, supportive or homophobic, none of the P&P commenters have indicated that they identify with the queer community (oh, that, just changed. Yay!). Which is why I can righteously be offended, not by Nike or W+K, but my statements like:

Something has to change with this nation because we are becoming a nation of panzies. I blame single mothers who think they “don’t need no man”. –johnadams33


The gay community freaks out anytime something little happens ….yet they feel anything goes if they want to have a gay parade or nude bike parade [sic] as I saw downtown a few weeks ago. –dizzo

Addendum from Just Out Commenters:

• Nike not only has supportive GBLT healthcare policies in general but that even includes up to $50,000 for transition surgery. That’s pretty unusual…

They make some other good points too. It does seem fairly sophomoric, but that doesn’t automatically make it homophobic. We all could expect some better than 10 year old boy humor though from folks so trained in marketing.

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