Steve Malanga of the Chicago Sun-Times profiled how sports stars and entertainers have helped fuel the popularity of dog fighting which has “transformed from a once largely rural and illicit sport into a fashionable pastime with a certain outlaw cache in many urban neighborhoods.” Malanga writes:
Rap music also glorifies the blood sport. The rapper DMX, who appears with a snarling pit bull on the cover of his album “Year of the Dog Again,” has sung: “Place your bets/You can imagine what the bloodline is like,” and “All my pups is crazy, ’cause off the leash/They can eat, stand a match for three hours at least.”
Madison Avenue has been quick to seize on such attitudes to instill a certain street cred in its own advertising. In 2003, the clothing company Nike, which has endorsement deals with numerous top athletes including Vick, released a gritty-looking TV ad dubbed “The Battle” which featured a brief glimpse of a growling pit bull and Rottweiler about to face off. A Nike representative denied that the ad encouraged dog fighting, but explained, “People have to understand the youth culture we cater to. Our market is the urban, edgy, hip-hop culture.”
The full article as has since been removed at suntimes.com.