In 2007, the Yankees’ and MLB’s official team cap maker, New Era, issued a statement in which they refuted the claims of an East Harlem civic group that New Era was cashing in by manufacturing customized, non-traditional Yankees caps to reflect the colors and other symbols of area street gangs.
Of course, the dual denial was nonsense undefined that’s exactly what New Era was doing and what New Era, the Yankees and MLB were profiting from.
New Era and MLB, however, did thank the concerned citizens for bringing this issue “to our attention” and did promise to pull some of the Yankees, MLB-licensed gang headwear.
That’s right, New Era had no idea that its funked-up, overly stylized Yankees caps with the crowns embroidered over the NY were being worn by Latin Kings.
And New Era manufactured red and black bandana-style Yankees caps not knowing the Bloods, dressed to kill, would love them. Those blue and white bandana Yankees caps? They were favored by Crips? Who knew?
Heck, murdered gang members would even be laid out in funeral homes wearing their MLB/New Era caps, soon to be seen in “R.I.P” photo T-shirts wearing them, too. Still are.
Thursday, during Giants-Bears, a commercial appeared for New Era’s NFL team-colored caps undefined how one can flaunt his street attitude by wearing one. See that guy? And that guy?
The ad cut to a shot of someone holding a can, spray-painting a Raiders logo on an outdoor wall.
Now tell me what that’s all about? Perhaps Commissioner Roger Goodell would like to take a stab at explaining that.
Is that representative of laying down an NFL gang tag, or just good old-fashioned vandalism? Is it a coincidence that the NFL’s original and sustaining bad-boy team’s logo was chosen?
Regardless, why would such an image be included in an ad for any NFL merchandise?
Gee, and won’t the New Era folks be surprised to learn that they had no idea, but thanks for bringing this to their attention.
But it’s easy when money trumps shame. It’s easy when sports will do whatever and to whomever in exchange for an extra dime.
It must’ve driven NFL marketing strategists wild to see so many street hoods appearing in surveillance tapes, at arraignments and in perp walks wearing MLB team caps when, with an extra push, they could’ve been wearing NFL team caps.
After all, if you don’t go after the most vulnerable, you’re no really trying.