Hey, Adidas. Brazil just wanted to run something by you.
See, it's come to the attention of many that you’ve been cranking out shirts that paint a hypersexualized picture of the Brazilian people, and they’re glad you’ve decided to cut that out.
According to Reuters in Brasilia (h/t The Guardian), the world’s second largest sports apparel company will be discontinuing a number of T-shirts designed for the 2014 World Cup following complaints from the Brazilian government that the articles were too “sexual.”
One of the shirts in question was emblazoned with the words “Lookin’ to Score,” while the other featured “I [Love] Brazil” with a heart resembling an upside down woman’s buttocks in a thong.
Brazil’s tourism board recently released a statement renouncing the designs. Regardless of Adidas' position as a major World Cup sponsor, Brazil doesn't appreciate being represented with stereotypes or social shorthand.
“Embratur strongly repudiates the sale of products that link Brazil’s image to sexual appeal,” the tourism board said in a statement.
This announcement steps fully in line with Brazil’s determination to maintain the game of soccer as the World Cup’s primary focus this June.
Over the past year, news stories, including this one by Kim Piston of The Huffington Post, about Brazilian prostitutes readying themselves for the influx of foreign soccer fans have presented a growing PR problem for South America’s largest country.
"Large sporting events are often a magnet for sexual tourism and trafficking," Piston wrote. "Brazil’s cities may be particularly vulnerable — in part because prostitution is legal, and the country has long been considered a popular erotic destination for those seeking sexual experiences abroad."
In this spirit, government is working hard to show the tournament will be a tribute to the sport, not some giant, wanton jamboree.
While Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff has made it clear her nation opens its arms to soccer fans, she has added it will not tolerate those coming to the nation for fleshly reasons.
“Brazil is happy to receive tourists for the World Cup,” Rousseff tweeted to her followers. “But it is also ready to combat sex tourism.”
I don’t know if a couple of semi-raunchy shirts will cause a jailbreak of American perverts to begin updating their passports, but it’s clear the nation isn’t messing around when it comes to setting a professional tone for these games.
Be on your best behavior, sports fans. That goes for you too, Adidas.
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