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I said “no Nike”…

January 1, 2015

Dear Sporting Goods Store Sales Associate,

Why did you have to push it? I appreciated your quick greeting and offer to help me find what I was looking for. I tried to politely say, “i am not interested in Nike for personal reasons,” and move on to the same merchandise of another brand, but that wasn’t enough for you. You had to push Nike, showing me how well made it is and all the features. How Nike is in such high demand and customers just like me can’t get enough (which I have to question since the shelves were overflowing). You just kept pushing and asking until I was forced to say it… “they support Michael Vick.” I tried to mumble it at first because I didn’t want to have this conversation with you, but you asked again why I was opposed, more loudly this time. “NIKE ENDORSES MICHAEL VICK!” And there it was: that look. I know it well. The look that says, “Oh God, not another crazy, vegan, PETA supporting, dog-lover.” Actually, you are very wrong about the vegan and PETA part – perhaps that makes me a hypocrite, but that is another conversation for another time.

What followed was awkward for us both, as it always is. The back-pedaling attempts about how you love dogs and your sudden need to show me pictures of your own little Fifi. The weird explanation and defensiveness of Vick about how he has served his time and learned his lesson. Your off handed comment to downplay: “Those were pits, right? Pits are scary.” As if those dogs would have fought themselves without Vick’s hand in it. That’s probably what offended me most. I am ashamed of myself for not having the spirit or the patience to explain it to you. I should have told you about the pit I personally know who came from Vick’s ring. I should have told you about the other abused and neglected pits who we have adopted out to families – families with children even, gasp! Instead I simply walked away with a heavy heart, reminded just how rampant breed discrimination and stereotyping is. I knew my words wouldn’t change your mind. You would nod politely, but you would still cling to the same stereotype and cross the street quickly when approached by someone walking with a pit. The only way you will know what loving, goofy, and loyal animals pit bulls are is for you to personally give them a chance. And I feel sorry for you because you never will.

Sincerely,

That Crazy Dog PIT Lover Who Just Wanted Adidas

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From → Ramblings

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