The Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant debuted his new Nike shoe in hopes of paying tribute to the Maryland county where his basketball career began. But now officials of that county call the name picked for the shoe “offensive.”
The sneakers, going for $180 a pair, are called the KD8 P.G. County and feature a dark gray body with colorful orange, green and red highlights in a motif meant to “honor his Seat Pleasant roots and rise to superstardom.”
The “P.G.” part of the title refers to Prince George’s County, the Maryland country where the city of Seat Pleasant, Maryland is located.
— Nike.com (@nikestore) November 24, 2015
Though intended to “honor” to the area where Durant grew up, local government officials are not very happy with the abbreviated name of the county used for of the shoe.
“We would certainly prefer that it was ‘Prince George’s County,’” county executive spokesman Barry Hudson told the media.
The spokesman also noted that they reached out to Nike to express their ire.
“Actually sent a letter to Nike kind of giving them some idea of the nature of the term ‘Prince George’s County’ versus ‘PG County’ just to let them know that it is, to many in the county, a pejorative,” Hudson added.
This isn’t the first time that the abbreviation of Prince George’s County has generated umbrage. In fact, the argument goes back nearly two decades when county executive Wayne Curry began to discourage people from using the initials back in 1996.
“It’s not just about respect,” Curry told The Washington Post in 2006. “It was about marketing. It’s a question of how your community is viewed. Prince George’s had always been regarded by the rest of the region as the ‘ugliest stepsister.’ When we were referred to as P.G., it was a contraction. We were looking at what the summary depicted in the minds of those who said it.”
But Durant seems to prefer calling his home county “P.G. County.” He used the term in his MVP acceptance speech last year.
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