Nike and Islamic group end logo logjam
November 21, 1998
Opposing views celebrate common ground
Web posted at: 11:22 p.m. EST (0422 GMT)
FALLS CHURCH, Virginia (CNN) -- Athletic footwear company
Nike and an Islamic organization broke ground on a playground
on Saturday and announced that a controversy over a shoe logo
Nike and the Council on American-Islamic Relations completed
an agreement last week, officially resolving a problem that
began in April 1997 when CAIR objected to a shoe with a
design on the heel similar to the Arabic word for "God" or
As part of the final agreement, Nike is building three
playgrounds for Islamic communities in the United States,
said Roy Agostino, communications manager for Nike. CAIR will
decide where the playgrounds will be, Agostino said.
The first playground will be at Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center,
Falls Church, Virginia, where representatives from Nike and
CAIR held a groundbreaking ceremony Saturday. Children
from the center's school drew pictures of what they would
like in their new playground. Nike distributed balloons and
The first step toward building a new playground
In June last year, Nike apologized to Muslims for any
unintentional offense, agreed to recall all products carrying
the design, introduced training for Nike designers in Islamic
imagery and agreed to investigate how the design came about.
After the recall, other issues remained, such as the shoes' appearance
in some markets outside the United States.
"I think this agreement we signed with Nike a few days ago
puts this whole issue to an end. And we hope that Nike will
be now aware of the sensitive market that they have and the
global issue that pertains with the shoes," said Nihad Awad,
executive director of CAIR.