Culture

Nike Stole Panamanian Indigenous Artwork And Tried To Pass It Off As Puerto Rican Until Latinos Canceled The Whole Thing

Nike / @IsaacLarrier / Twitter

After Nike teased its imminent release of an Air Force 1 shoe design meant to celebrate Puerto Rico, it was immediately met with backlash. The design features a coquí, the frog that can be heard chirping all over the island, and Puerto Rico’s national animal. That’s cool.

What’s not cool is the colorful design bordering the coquí, which is a blatant copy of a traditional Panamanian mola design. The company has since postponed the release of the show. They even apologized for “the inaccurate representation of the design origin for the Nike Air Force 1 ‘Puerto Rico’ 2019 edition.”

The Puerto Rico Nike Air Force 1s were expected to be released on June 6 at $100 a pair.

@IsaacLarrier / Twitter

“@Nike, Guys, these are cool sneakers, and I get the reference to the Coquí frog, but this pattern and design are NOT from Puerto Rico,” @IsaacLarrier tweeted. “It’s a design called MOLA, made by the Guna people in Panama and parts of Colombia. It is a HUGE failure of your research department.”

The mola design belongs to the Guna indigenous peoples of Panama and Colombia and is very specific.

@IsaacLarrier / Twitter

Most of the Guna people live in Guna Yala, islands off the Caribbean coast of Panama. Belisario López, the leader of the Guna community told U.S. News and World Report that the design represents “Mother Earth because the design is based on everything that is nature.”

The Guna knew that their design was protected by intellectual property laws in Panama and fought back.

@luscifers_ / Twitter

Their lawyer, a Guna woman, released a statement that stated that Nike never asked for permission and that they “pirated” the design for company profit. Too often, companies steal from generations of indigenous art with no recourse. This time, the Guna people won.

The Guna Yala community isn’t opposed to commercializing the design.

@AFP / Twitter

“We are not against our ‘mola’ being commercialized,” Belisario López, Leader of the Guna Yala Community told US News and World Report. “What we oppose is it being done without consulting us first.”

Another major problem is that Nike tried to reappropriate Guna culture as Puerto Rican.

@friendlyskyz / Twitter

That a U.S. company would internationally distribute Panamanian artwork as representative of Puerto Rico left many Panamanians pretty angry. Rightly so.

The fact is that the mola is more than a design. It’s identity.

@amoreroxie / Twitter

Monica Martinez, a professor of social anthropology at Barcelona University who has been studying the Guna for twenty years, said, “The mola is like a flag for the Guna. There is really a cultural identity that is articulated around the mola. It is a very strong element of identity.”

Some Panamanians are pointing out that Panama has frogs, too.

@bluishyoongs / Twitter

As well known as the coquí is to Puerto Rico, the Golden Frog is also widely known as endemic to Panama. It’s Panama’s national animal.

Some Latinos are angry that Nike didn’t look closer into Puerto Rico’s own rich history of art.

@yayalove86 / Twitter

You don’t have to look too far to find an established Puerto Rican graphic designer or artist to consult with. Where are the art historians on the Nike team?

The creator of La Borinqueña already tweeted a mockup to Nike.

@MrEdgardoNYC / Twitter

“.@Nike, when you make a tribute sneaker for Puerto Rico, note that ‘mola’ art is from the Indigenous people of Gunayala in Panama,” @MrEdgardoNYC tweeted. “So, here’s my quick #LaBorinqueña mockup and we can donate proceeds to our grants program in PR and the Mola shoe can benefit Panama! Hit me up!”

The tribe is now seeking damages for profiting off “part of the spirituality of the Guna people.”

@tongai / Twitter

Guna lawyer Aresio Valiente told AFP, “The company has to compensate us because it was an illegal copy of our designs.” This is part of a larger effort to reclaim justice for what feels like identity theft.

Valiente knows that Guna’s case against Nike is “not the only one in the world. Thousands of designs and the ancestral knowledge of indigenous people are being pirated by multinational companies.”

READ: 21 Times the Fashion Industry Appropriated Latino Culture

Snoop Dog Just Called The U.S. Men’s Soccer Team ‘Sorry’ And Is Demanding Equal Pay For The Women’s Team

Entertainment

Snoop Dog Just Called The U.S. Men’s Soccer Team ‘Sorry’ And Is Demanding Equal Pay For The Women’s Team

The U.S. Women’s National Soccer team deserve every ounce of praise and glory. Yesterday’s incredible 2-0 win against the Netherlands, made them World Cup champions once again and brought the women a tremendous amount of support both as fantastic players and as passionate activists for women’s rights. The U.S. Women’s team has taken on a legal battle, complaining to the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, against their employer the United States Soccer Federation for gender discrimination, and they’re demanding equal pay. So what will it take? They certainly have support from their fans. If you missed yesterday’s game, here’s a short recap: after the women scored their winning goal and everyone was celebrating on the field, the crowd at the stadium in Lyon, France began to chant “equal pay” — so there’s no hiding the appalling disparity now.

There’s even more support for the women’s team as major sponsorships is putting these female athletes on a massive center stage.  

Fresh off the heels of a great championship game, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team is now the star of a new Nike ad that is resonating with feminists everywhere. 

Nike Youtube.com

The commercial is dramatically cool with its black-and-white aesthetic and features star players including Crystal Dunn, Alex Morgan, Alyssa Naeher, Tobin Heath, and of course, Megan Rapinoe. A woman’s voice in the ad says, “I believe that we will be four-time champions and keep winning until we not only become the best female soccer team but the best soccer team in the world. And that a whole generation of girls and boys will go out and play and say things like, ‘I want to be like Megan Rapinoe when I grow up,’ and that they’ll be inspired to talk and win and stand up for themselves.”

The empowering commercial also touches on the women’s team’s demand for equal pay.

Nike Youtube.com

The team has made it no secret that they’re suing the U.S. soccer for gender discrimination. According to Glamour, “the women’s team made $20 million more in revenue than the men’s team did last year—while making four times less.” The U.S. Men’s team has never won a World Cup. And this fight for equal pay isn’t new. 

“I think that we’ve proven our worth over the years,” Carli Lloyd, the 2015 FIFA women’s player of the year, said in an interview on NBC’s Today show back in 2016. “Just coming off of a World Cup win, the pay disparity between the men and women is just too large.” Four years later, nothing has changed. Perhaps this second-consecutive World Cup win and the new Nike commercial will help improve things for good.

The ad is aimed to inspire young girls and boys alike, as well as soccer fans new and old.

Nike Youtube.com

“I believe that we will make our voices heard, and TV shows will be talking about us every single day and not just once every four years,” the ad continues. “And that women will conquer more than just the soccer field by breaking every single glass ceiling and having their faces carved on Mount Rushmore; and that we’ll be fighting not just to make history, but to change it—forever.”

If naysayers need another reason to argue that the women’s soccer team doesn’t bring in as much money as the men’s (which is not true), here’s another indicator that they’re wrong:

The women’s Nike jersey is outselling the men’s.

Nike Youtube.com

“The USA women’s home jersey is now the number one soccer jersey — men’s or women’s — ever sold on Nike.com in one season,” Nike CEO Mark Parker said in the company’s earnings call, according to the Women In The World News

Fans on social media are praising Nike for their latest ad.

Perfect timing, right?

Even Snoop Dog called out the equal pay injustice the women’s team has long endured.

In a post to his Instagram page, the rapper broke down why he thought it was unfair for the women’s team to be paid less than the men’s saying “Food for thought. Shout out to the USA Women’s Soccer Team for their fourth World Cup, but what I want to talk about is that they only get $90,000 per player, but the men, if they win, they get $500,000 per player.”

It’s almost as if Nike knew the U.S. women’s team was going to win. But didn’t we all?

Perfect words for a perfect team that deserves a raise. 

If you didn’t get emotional watching that… you have no heart!

This team has done so much for the sport. 

What is there left to say but “Equal pay! Equal pay!”

The women’s team is still under litigation, but we will definitely be ready for that final ruling that says these women must get equal pay — or more, especially as returning World Cup champions. 

Nike strikes again with another powerful commercial.

Oh, it was us too. We couldn’t stop with tears. We were cheering and crying at the same time!

Here’s the entire commercial below.

Let us know what you think of the ad. 

Twitter LOL’d So Hard At Nike’s Outfits That They Thought Were Inspired By Mexican School Outfits

Entertainment

Twitter LOL’d So Hard At Nike’s Outfits That They Thought Were Inspired By Mexican School Outfits

Nike / @RamosAprate / Twitter

In early 2018, Nike launched some sportswear for women and Twitter got a hold of it because something about them looked oddly familiar.

CREDIT: Nike

The khaki and black combo — which averages about $160 for the set — is actually very similar to certain uniforms in Mexico.

As Luis Ricardo from Puebla, Mexico, said on Twitter, the company must have been inspired by their public school uniforms.

“Like SEP says, ‘Keep the same pants until Nike gets inspired by them.’ And it worked,” @RamosAparte tweeted.

The new line is almost identical to that of uniforms delegated by the Secretaría de Educación Pública (SEP), which is known as Mexico’s public school system.

A publication in Mexico also agreed.

“The new #Nike collection will take you back to secondary school,” @Mileno added.

The color scheme is just too similar.

People straight up clowned Nike for the similarities.

They really are so similar to the school uniforms that it is hard not to clown them on it.

Some people on Twitter are having flashbacks to their school days.

Imagine walking into a store and seeing your old school uniforms as the height of fashion. Talk about shook.

Others believe they can easily replicate the “fresh” look.

That is genius. Who wants to send me their uniforms so I can be all cool and stuff?

Some think the designer is just into Mexico’s taste in fashion.

When is Mexico not an inspiration?

But how many times have you seen school uniforms dictate fashion trends?

https://twitter.com/flyestcouple/status/966839617205952512

We’ll wait.

Some people did seem less than thrilled that it seems the coporation ripped off a Mexican school uniform.

Others hope Mexico is getting some kind of royalty check from the designers.

READ: Nike Is Dropping The “Los Primeros Pack” Designed By Latino Street Artists For Hispanic Heritage Month And They Went All Out

Do you think Nike ripped off Mexico’s style in uniforms? Let us know by sharing this story and commenting below!