10.18.2005

clothes make the athlete?

2 interesting stories involving athletes and the clothes that they wear.

1) the NBA is adopting a dress code for its players for when the are participating in any league activities. this means pre-game, post game, public appearances, etc. apparently a.i. won't be able to wear gold chains or shirts without sleeves and collars at his post game press conference. it seems like the official word from the NBA is "business casual", but you don't need me to point out that what they're really trying to say is, "we don't want our NBA players to look like black people." which is odd, since the hip-hop lifestyle is such an integral part of NBA culture. it would make sense to most people that this would actually not appeal to the NBA's core audience. so it begs the question, who is the NBA trying to appease with this policy?

let me start by throwing out a fantastic conspiracy theory. the NBA is actually trying to appease the athletic apparel makers. my guess is that in the next few months, you are going to see all of the major athletic apparel brands, nike, reebok, adidas, etc...roll out their new line of formal wear. in fact, i'm amazed that no one has done this yet. imagine, a nice pinstripe, three-piece suit, with the adidas stripes on your lapel. how would that not sell. or better yet, nike could roll out their formal wear line and instead of a normal stripe on the side of the tuxedo pants, you replace it with one big swoosh. how am i not a marketing executive? but seriously, i just wanted to be clear that the new NBA dress code is directly related to race here.

2) some kid refuses to wear adidas, and his university won't let him play ball. in fact, this guy is the team's leading scorer. arkansas state university is required by contract to have its players wear adidas, but the the kid says that he hurt his ankle using bad adidas shoes. he says he'll sue, and i hope to god he does. i've always thought that it was just real stinking rotten that coaches got to sign million dollar contracts with apparel companies when the coaches are basically never seen wearing the clothes (again, the mike formal wear line conspiracy makes even more sense on the college level). again, just another way that colleges exploit their athletes. imagine if i told my students that they had to do their assignments on a hewlett packard computer because i had signed a contract with them. do you think that would hold up in court?

anyways, the school is claiming that they're in the right because there is no proof that adidas shoes are any worse than other kinds of shoes. and there's the rub for the shoe companies. if this case gets more press, not only will it be publicly declared that adidas' shoes are no worse than nike's or reebok', but it is also going to be publicly declared that their shoes are no better than anyone else's as well. fight the power kid!

1 comment:

alfredo said...

bob-

one of your better posts. the NBA dress code is transparently racist in that it targets black players (and one white player, jason williams.) it's obvious that david stern is trying to preserve and cater to the tastes of his real target audience: 30-year old white guys who can afford the tickets and whose viewership generates ad revenue. as if any right-thinking sports fan should give a shit what allen iverson wears off the court. i actually like the fact that ai goes to work wearing shit i only wish i could get away with wearing. thanks for ruining that, a-holes.

as far as the college-shoe deal, i hope this kid gets his case into court. the sooner the kids get a say in the big-money deals that they generate, the better. by the way, i think you should explore a deal with hewlett packard. they could put out a computer in santa barbara colors or something.