SBD/8/Sports Society

THE GANG'S ALL HERE: "OUTSIDE THE LINES" HITS THE STREETS

          ESPN's "Outside The Lines" examined the connection
     between gangs and sports in its piece, "Turf Wars: Gangs and
     Sports."  In the first part, ESPN's Shelley Smith looked at
     three NFL players who have ties to gangs.  One segment
     examined how sports apparel is relevant in the gang world. 
     ESPN's Bob Ley: "Gangs proclaim their identities and their
     names through colors and now through athletic wear, through
     logos and teams.  Police say this is by design.  Since sports
     apparel has never been more popular generally, gangwear is
     now usually undetectable."  Dr. George Knox of the National
     Gang Crime Research Center, on youths buying sports apparel:
     "Society does not realize that it's just as deadly as selling
     that kid a loaded .45."  ESPN Curry Kirkpatrick reported that
     teams, schools and companies all have been turned into
     acronyms for gangs.  For example, in Fort Worth, TX, Colorado
     Rockies stands for Crips Rule. A Dallas gang, "Mexican
     Mafia," wears Univ. of Michigan apparel.  When Kirkpatrick
     asked a gang member if they root for Michigan, he said, "We
     don't give a (expletive) about Michigan."  Other examples
     given for acronyms for teams and companies included the
     Bulls, Cowboys, Saints, White Sox, Magic, Astros, Nike,
     Converse and Reebok (ESPN, 12/5).

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