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Nike apologizes for Panther T-shirt flub

By Scott Fowler
sfolwer@charlotteobserver.com

Nike has apologized for their Carolina Panthers T-shirt that mixed up North Carolina and South Carolina, pictured above. This photo is courtesy of Les Hall and is a picture of the actual T-shirt Nike shipped to him.

A Nike spokesman emailed me the following statement today about their "State of Confusion" T-shirt, which mixed up N.C. and S.C.: “A small quantity of incorrect Carolina Panthers tee shirts were recently made available for sale. This product should not have been sold. We have removed it from sale and apologize for the error.”

The statement doesn’t address who was responsible for this error or tell what the "small number" was. But I do give Nike credit for not simply ignoring the mistake completely – which was first reported in the “Scott Says” blog on Friday. (I began asking Nike for comment on the shirt last Thursday).

To back up for those who missed the original story: alert reader Les Hall of Charlotte saw the T-shirt listed on Nike’s website. It was geographically challenged to say the least – there’s a picture of a Panther logo, but it rests atop the shape of South Carolina. Then in the top left corner of the S.C. silhouette there are the state initials “NC.” It looked like Nike, the NFL’s official uniform supplier, believes Charlotte is in South Carolina.

For a kick, Hall (who went to Clemson) ordered the shirt anyway, paying $32 for it. It arrived at his house Friday. He told me about it before that, and I started researching what happened. Nike since took the shirt off its website and it is no longer available for sale, for all those who have asked (and there have been many of you).

I posted the original blog item on Friday and a follow-up in the newspaper on Sunday, reporting that Hall had received the shirt. Given that this is a slow time of year for the NFL, the news then went all over the place, from the home page of CBSSports.com to ESPN to all over Twitter. Of the more than 1500 items I have posted on the “Scott Says” blog over the years, that original post now ranks No.3 in total number of hits.

And Hall undoubtedly has secured himself a collector’s item – one likely worth far more than the $32 he paid for it.

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