Store Pulls Offensive Knicks Knockoff Shirt Amid Complaints

The shirt refashions the Knicks logo into a racially offensive word

By Checkey Beckford
|  Thursday, Aug 22, 2013  |  Updated 6:31 AM EDT
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A midtown store may be in hot water with the Knicks and the NBA for selling a T-shirt that replaces the team's logo with a racial slur.  Checkey Beckford reports.

NBC 4 New York

A midtown store may be in hot water with the Knicks and the NBA for selling a T-shirt that replaces the team's logo with a racial slur. Checkey Beckford reports.

The manager of a Manhattan clothing store defended selling a knockoff New York Knicks t-shirt that refashions the team's logo into a slur before pulling it amid complaints from customers and legal threats from the Knicks organization.

The shirt, sold at the store on 38th Street and 10th Avenue, starts off with the Knicks spelling, but replaces the end of the word with "g-g-a." It retailed for $45, $10 more than an actual Knicks t-shirt.

"Everybody's buying," said store manager Eddie Nunez.

"Everybody's different," he said. "Some people are offended, some people laugh, some people buy it." 

Customer Jamar Anderson said: "It's a catchy term, it's used in hip-hop."

But Knicks fan Zae Garrett said the shirt sent the wrong message.

"That's not cool. That's not a way to represent New York City. We're better than that." 

The real New York Knicks were not happy about the offensive lookalike. The team said in a statement, "We absolutely do not condone this t-shirt, which violates our trademark rights and now that it has been brought to our attention, the Knicks are working with the NBA to have the store cease and desist from selling them." 

Nunez initially said he planned to keep the shirts in stock despite complaints from customers and threats from the Knicks. But shortly after his interview with NBC 4 New York Wednesday, he changed his mind and said he would take the shirts down.

It wasn't clear if the shirt's manufacturers have sent the shirts to other stores. A call to the company was not returned. 

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