BEAVERTON, Ore. – Nike said Friday it would pull its ads for its Hyperdunk basketball shoes, responding to criticism that they fed homophobic views.
Nike previously defended the ads, but said it would withdraw them as quickly as possible "to underline our ongoing commitment to supporting diversity in sport and the workplace," The Oregonian reported.
The ads were created by Portland's Wieden+Kennedy agency and titled "That Ain't Right," "Isn't That Cute," and "Punks Jump Up."
One ad showed a basketball player dunking over another. The crotch of the player dunking was planted firmly in the other player's face. The ad sported a large tag line: "That Ain't Right."
Earlier, Nike had said the ads were "based purely upon a common insight from within the game of basketball — the athletic feat of dunking on the opposition, and is not intended to be offensive."
Nike also reiterated its "history of supporting athletes regardless of their sexual orientation." Nike has been praised by gay-rights advocates for supporting a 2007 Oregon law banning discrimination against gays in work, housing and public places.
An after hours call to Nike corporate communications rang unanswered Friday.