NIKE has pulled a pair of leggings after the design was criticised for being racist. The monochrome print, which features on the label’s Pro Tattoo Tech Tights, has caused controversy in Australia and New Zealand for its similarity to the traditional Samoan Pe’a male tattoo.
The garment sparked an online petition which described the leggings as a “direct violation of the Indigenous peoples of the Pacific, and is furthermore in violation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples”. The petition was signed by 750 people, and Nike quickly withdrew the item and released the following statement: “The Nike Tattoo Tech collection was inspired by tattoo graphics. We apologise to anyone who views this design as insensitive to any specific culture. No offence was intended.”