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THE GANG'S ALL HERE: "OUTSIDE THE LINES" HITS THE STREETS
Published December 8, 1997
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).