February 21, 2010

Is it time for these Kobe, LeBron Commercials from Nike to end?

"Cut Kobe, LeBron Puppets' Strings"
by Terence Moore of FanHouse.com and Atlanta Journal Constitution

OK, I'll admit it. In the beginning, I had no problem with the buffoonery of the Kobe and LeBron puppets.

They were puppets. They also were hilarious.

Now one of three things has happened: (1) Nike has slowly turned what was a clever marketing idea into a modern-day version of Amos and Andy, (2) I've just come to my senses, or (3) it is a combination of both.

Whatever the case, these commercials have to go. Either that, or they need an extreme makeover. They are the anti-Barack Obamas when it comes to helping society rid itself of tired images of African-Americans -- and the Nike folks couldn't care less. The same goes for Kobe and LeBron. Otherwise, you wouldn't have storylines in each of these commercials that clearly are designed to entice as many black youngsters as possible to buy sneakers they can't afford.

Stereotyping. Exploitation. It's all here.

I mean, you have the two most famous players in the NBA -- Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, both heroes among many youth in the black community -- depicted by a couple of sports-obsessed, egomaniacal puppets.

Worse, these puppets mostly lounge around their apartment as they live in a world filled with rapping and folks speaking broken English.

Let's pause for a moment of silence. This being Black History Month and all, that groaning you now hear is coming from the graves of W.E.B., Booker T., Martin, Malcolm and the rest, wondering if this is the 21st century or 19th century.

Read more at Fanhouse.com

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