Nike released a new Australian Open outfit, and the corresponding ad received widespread backlash. The ad, which was dubbed insensitive by some, promised to help the players battle “fiery conditions.”
The knee-length bodysuit was designed to help female athletes to combat the Australian heat while on the court. However, the phrasing of the ad sparked outrage, and social media users were quick to call out the company on their insensitivity.
The ad, which featured pictures of Canadian star Bianca Andreescu, read: “Melbourne also tracks the hottest temperatures of any of tennis’ four majors. Averaging more than 100 degrees (37 degrees Celsius), the heat challenges players and, in turn, NikeCourt’s apparel designers to outduel the fiery conditions.”
In light of the wildfires that have engulfed Australia, many were quick to call the ad inappropriate. The wildfires have led to the deaths of at least 24 people, and more than half a billion animals.
Nike promoters quickly reacted to the criticism and backlash, choosing to replace the term “fiery conditions” with “keep players cool.”
The NikeCourt Melbourne collected has an expected release date of January 13, a week before the Australian Open commences.
However, due to the wildfires, the Grand-Slam may be delayed for the sake of the health of the players.