Issue #4: Nike Gets Mixed Reviews Over New Jihadi FootwearJan 26, 2003 (Updated Jan 28, 2003) Write an essay on this topic.
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Nike Gets Mixed Reviews Over New Jihadi Footwear
Nike announced today its new line of basketball shoes, "The Jihadi," line. The first model in the line, to be released this fall, is the "Air Reid."
Named after the unsuccessful shoe-bomber, Richard Reid (known as Dick to his friends) the shoe sports a hidden compartment in the heel with a fine hole for a wick to slip through.
Responding to harsh criticism, Nike spokesperson Aji Bandajal claimed, "We had met a plateau, and it was time to decide where to go next. If a company is going to be successful globally, it must appeal to all customers."
Polls show that the shoes will be a hot item in all middle-eastern countries. Palestinian storefronts are already sporting posters of the expected shoe which include a picture of an exploding Air Reid and the slogan, "It's the bomb!"
In Saudi Arabia, some shoe stores are running black-market promotion films of a young Jihadi warrior slam-dunking a stick of TNT into a hoop. The backboard of the hoop has U.S. and Israeli flag stickers.
U.S. opinion varies. Spokesperson Donald Wayne of Adidas claims, "This is an absolute outrage. I recommend everybody boycott Nike's products. How far will a company go to boost its profits?"
A spokesperson for Brooks, a shoe company that has been steadily declining in business for 50 years, says that they may have to follow the market lead. "If this works for Nike, we will begin targeting street gangs and ex-convicts. Nike will be our litmus test." Proposed names include "Drive-By Dawgs," and "Parolee Prowlers."
Athletes are skeptical about performance increases. Michael Jordan said, "I don't feel a real boost without the explosives over my normal shoe, and I'm just not willing to try the explosives until more testing is done."
Shaquille O'Neal wouldn't test the shoe at all. "Do you realize how much C-4 it would take to lift me off the court? It would leave ruts in the floor."
Retired basketball icon Larry Bird thinks that the shoe might sell though. "I expect an interest to be shown by white players especially, for the vertical value."
To further widen the the appeal of the shoe, a hiking-boot version called the "Trail Reid," will also be available. According to one shoe expert, "Every good shoe has a hippie version. This one looks like the Desert Boot, and we know those were a smashing success."
Nike plans to expand on the Jihadi line after the release of the "Air Reid," with a running shoe called the "Taliban Trotter." According to Bandajal, "These are sleek shoes, they match the sand, and they're bullet proof."
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