Defining Moment

Nike now lets you personalize your shoes by submitting a word or phrase the company will stitch beneath the swoosh. So Jonah Peretti, a student at MIT, filled out the form and sent $50 for a pair of new shoes with the word "Sweatshop" sewn in. Nike canceled his order, claiming that it violated its criteria against "profanity or inappropriate slang." Peretti swung back with Webster's dictionary, which defines "sweatshop" as standard English, not slang. Nike cancelled his order anyway. The last round went to Peretti, who had a final request, "Could you please send me a color snapshot of the 10-year-old Vietnamese girl who makes my shoes?"

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Sojourners Magazine May-June 2001
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