An Asian slur on a T-shirt produced by a prominent skateboard company? Feel free to toss this story directly into the “What in the world were they thinking?” category. Baker Skateboards, a company owned by professional skateboarder Andrew Reynolds, has received quite a bit of backlash for a T-shirt featuring two Asian men in a “Dukes of Hazzard”-style automobile. The tagline: “The Gooks of Hazzard”. If that wasn’t enough to irritate an entire race of people, the shirt also features the phrase “Good Orr Boys”, a play on stereotypical accents.
Not surprisingly, quite a few people have been offended by the language used on the shirt, prompting Asian American Justice Center to issue a statement on the matter. A representative from the organization recently told TMZ that it’s “unacceptable for Baker Skateboards to create a depiction of Asian Americans which uses racial slurs and perpetuates racist stereotypes.”
The group also added that “Baker Skateboards, and the outlets that sell this shirt, should be aware that use of the term ‘gook’ on their apparel is offensive and quite simply amounts to racism for sale. No one should seek to profit from racism.”
Presently, the shirt is being sold on the company’s website, though, if the backlash continues to build, I’m sure the item in question will be pulled to avoid drawing any unwanted negativity to the business or the skateboarders it sponsors. One such boarder, Don “The Nuge” Nguyen, is actually featured on the shirt.
“We would say that T-shirt is obviously racist and we agree with the comments that suggest this is essentially a case of racism for sale,” a representative for the anti-racism charity Show Racism The Red Card told The Huffington Post. “We hope to see it withdrawn in the very near future. It promotes racial stereotypes and it is unacceptable.”
TMZ attempted to reach out to both Baker Skateboards and Don “The Nuge” Nguyen, though neither party has commented on the issue as of this writing.