NEW YORK — Official Major League Baseball caps blatantly featuring colors and symbols for some of America’s deadliest street gangs are turning up on store shelves in Harlem, MyFOXNY.com reported Friday.
Outraged local activists charge that New Era, the caps’ manufacturer, and the New York Yankees — whose famous interlocking NY cap features a choice of a red and black bandanna design for the Bloods, blue and gray for the Crips and a gold crown for the Latin Kings — and Major League Baseball are deliberately marketing to gang members and wannabes.
I like how the report throws wannabes in the same boat as real gang members; you know we gotta watch out for those wannabes.
On a serious note, the report – though a bit scandalous, it is Fox News– says the league claimed they didn’t know the colors were gang-related. Yet this cap is an obvious attempt at gang-marketing 101.
What that says to me is that MLB is blatantly naïve when it comes to the streets, even though they directly market to inner city kids; and yet, the Fox report is just a tad too alarmist. It sort of reminds me of my high school’s dress code and how they didn’t allow anyone to wear Dickey’s simply because that was considered gang clothing.
I’m not sure what to make of it. Just because I wear a cap with some colors doesn’t make me a gang-member. It does make me a wannabe, but who’s afraid of them?
Update 08/25: That took long.
Major League Baseball’s official cap manufacturer said yesterday that it would remove headwear bearing the colors and symbols of three gangs — the Bloods, the Crips and the Latin Kings — one day after activists protested the sale of the caps at retail stores in East Harlem.
Two white Yankee caps made by New Era Cap were wrapped with red and blue bandannas that appear to represent the Bloods and Crips, and a black Yankee cap was embroidered with a crown symbolic of the Latin Kings.
The Yankees said in a statement that they were unaware of the caps’ gang symbolism and had no approval rights on their design. “The New York Yankees oppose any garment that may be associated with gangs or gang-related activity,” the statement said.