Coal Tattoo

WVU ‘in discussions’ with Nike over strip-mining ad

In the wake of complaints from coalfield citizens groups, West Virginia University’s athletic department issued this statement today about the Nike ads:

The concept for the uniform design was to honor the coal miners of West Virginia and their heritage. Their hard work and dedication are the same characteristics of the Mountaineer football team.

The graphics surrounding the promotion of the uniform which featured 10 teams and an iconic representation of each school were designed by Nike and reviewed by the WVU athletic department. The intent was for the player on the field to be surrounded by coal and not as an endorsement of any one form of mining technology.

We are in discussions with Nike about the graphic.

So far, WVU President James Clements has refused to comment on the situation.