Baker Skateboards receives backlash over racial shirts
Baker Skateboards — a major U.S skateboard company — is being accused of racial slur after they sold skate shirts featuring two Asian men under the words “Gooks of Hazard.”
According to reports, Baker Skateboards is under fire for selling shirts that puts “racism for sale.” The company is owned by skating legend Andrew Reynolds, who has been featured as a character in many of the Tony Hawk Pro Skater video games.
Baker Skateboards is currently selling the “Hazzard” shirt on their website. The skate shirt features two Asian men in a tricked-out Japanese sports car named “General Li.” One of the men is pro skater Don “The Nuge” Nguyen, who is sponsored by the skateboard company.
The skate shirt also features a tagline, “Good Orr Boys” — which is said to be a play on the stereotype of an Asian accent.
Despite the approval of Don “The Nuge” Nguyen with the shirt, Washington, D.C.-based Asian American Justice Center thinks otherwise. In a statement directed Baker Skateboards, a rep for the organization said that it is “unacceptable for [Baker] to create a depiction of Asian Americans which uses racial slurs and perpetuates racist stereotypes. Baker Skateboards, and the outlets that sell this shirt, should be aware that use of the term ‘g—’ on their apparel is offensive and quite simply amounts to racism for sale. No one should seek to profit from racism.”
Baker Skateboards and Heroin Skateboards — which picked up Shimizu earlier this year — are both under the Baker Boys Distribution umbrella, co-founded by Andrew Reynolds, Erik Ellington and Jim Greco.
Fans of the company who were born after the 1980s would have to rely on television re-runs to gain cultural reference for “The Dukes of Hazzard,” which was aired from 1979 to 1985 on CBS, or they can also check out the 2005 big-screen adaptation.