Olympic Park skateboarding competition supported by Sadiq Khan lists knife company as sponsor

The Copper Box Arena in the Olympic Park. Picture: David Holt (CC BY 2.0)

The Copper Box Arena in the Olympic Park. Picture: David Holt (CC BY 2.0) - Credit: Archant

A skateboarding competition at the Olympic Park has been criticised after fans spotted an American knife manufacturer listed as a sponsor.

https://twitter.com/jmkd/status/1001114092281753600

The world-renowned Street League Skateboarding (SLS) tour made its London debut at the Copper Box Arena last weekend, and a host of top performers were there to compete in front of thousands.

But boarding enthusiasts were outraged to discover the sponsors listed online included Kershaw – whose tagline is “knives you’re proud to own” and which uses the hashtag #whatareyoucarrying.

In addition the event was sponsored by mayor of London Sadiq Khan who has vowed to tackle the knife crime epidemic gripping the capital.

Following an outcry the logo was removed last week.

https://twitter.com/kershawknives/status/996442336832860160

The mayor’s office said the company was not a partner and its logo was only used in connection with the event in error.

SLS also said the company was “not a sponsor or partner” of the event.

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But Kershaw told skateboarding writer James Davis on Twitter it was still an SLS sponsor - the tweet was later deleted.

However James, who tweeted a screengrab of the deleted tweet, said the Kershaw logo was on the website for months.

He told the Recorder: “It’s disgraceful this brand that has been marketing knives to youths is associated with skateboarding in London, a city with a knife crime epidemic.

“Knives have nothing to do with skateboarding and it would be deeply offensive in any country, let alone here.”

James also scoffed at claims the sponsorship was only listed online in error, saying the only error was that no one had noticed the association.

Skater turned fashion designer Blondey McCoy, also spoke out. He posted on Instagram: “The marketing of knives to teenage skateboarders in the midst of a knife crime epidemic is something quite absurd that we can all live without.”

The mayor’s office said: “Kershaw is not a partner of the event in London. The mayor would not support an event in London with Kershaw’s association or involvement. The company’s logo was included by SLS on the event webpage in error.”

SLS did not respond to the Recorder’s request for comment.

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