Written by Loren Nebrich
On Wednesday, Nike released NBA star Kevin Durant's new model basketball shoe, KD8 PG County. A tribute to the Seat Pleasant native's home jurisdiction, the shoes moniker pays homage to Prince George's County. Some county officials, however, are not happy with it.
It is in the abbreviation of Prince George's County in which the problem lies
“It’s ‘Prince George’s County,’ not ‘P.G,’” said Howard Stone, a longtime county bureaucrat who has worked in almost every major local government office. “We should never allow anyone to say it in our presence.” The nickname, some feel, is more of a dig than a term of endearment.
“As you can imagine, we are very proud of the success of Prince George’s County native Kevin Durant, and the pride that he has in growing up in the county,” the office of County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) said in an e-mail sent to Nike. “We do want to make the Nike corporation aware that ‘P.G.’ is a term that many in Prince George’s County consider pejorative and/or an insult.”
For decades now, leaders of the jurisdiction have campaigned against shortening the county's full name to two letters--as they feel the two letters could just as easily stand for demeaning names.
However, all is not lost for Durant's new shoe, as many others support him and his homage. Fellow Democrat and lifelong county resident, Justin Ross, showed his support in a text saying, “Clearly Kevin Durant named his new shoe out of love and respect for our hometown."
Sharing in the support, County Council member Derrick L. Davis said, "While I understand others’ dismay, the fact that he thought enough of ‘home’ to use it, albeit colloquially, makes me, a proud Prince Georgian, proud to claim Kevin as a Prince Georgian."
Durant's shoes are now available in stores and online for a cool $180.