But you don’t have to be a hood to love corporate logos
From the Sept. 15 New York Times:
A curious phenomenon has emerged at the intersection of fashion, sports and crime: dozens of men and women who have robbed, beaten, stabbed and shot at their fellow New Yorkers have done so while wearing Yankees caps or clothing.
The writer notes that people who wear sports garb during or just after committing a crime are much more likely to be wearing New York Yankees clothing than that of any other pro or college team. One criminologist attributes the phenomenon to the popular rapper Jay-Z, who has been wearing Yankees caps for years, while other analysts are “wondering whether criminals are identifying with the team’s aura of money, power and success.”
Buried in the text is a more mundane explanation for the phenomenon — the Yankees hold a 25.13 percent market share of merchandise licensed by Major League Baseball. In other words, how could there not be a disproportionate number of thugs wearing Yankees garb? A great many non-thugs are wearing it, too.
It’s not much of a story, so far as statistics go. The writer states that criminals who sport Yankees logos are all over the country but he only supplies numbers for New York City crimes.
On the other hand, there’s poetic justice in the idea that fashion-conscious thugs would tend to identify with what has been, historically, the best team money could buy. A team whose players tend to be arrogant and proud of it, just like its owners.
If you wear a Phillies or Mets cap backwards or cocked to one side, you will probably look like a slob in a ball cap who has a favorite team. But if you wear a Yankees cap — forwards, backwards or sideways — you are more likely to be making a statement about how you worship the rich and powerful.
The real story is bigger than what’s in the crime blotter: Why are so many people — young and old, crooked and law-abiding, sports fan or no — eager to wear clothes that corporate logos, to turn themselves into free advertisements? When and why did this custom become popular?
A comprehensive story on this subject has yet to be written. I can’t wait to read it.