Gang Yankees?

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The feud between Yankees and Red Sox fans may go back generations, but this is taking it a little far. A group of East Harlem parents is calling on the New York Yankees to [stop selling official team hats that blatantly feature gang colors and symbols]. Yes, you read that right. Gang symbols. The hats are available in three versions (pictured). One includes a gold crown above the “NY,” one a red and black bandana stitched in, and another a blue and gray bandana—the signs of the [Latin Kings, Bloods, and Crips](,2933,294409,00.html) respectively.

“These corporations are capitalizing on known friction within communities of color,” accused Johnny Rivera, president of the Coalition to Protect Our Children, which held a protest yesterday to raise awareness and pressure retailers to pull the New Era caps from their shelves. “Any 11-year-old could buy one of these and get jumped if they walk in the wrong neighborhood because they don't know the signs.”

Rivera said he discovered the hats last week on a back-to-school shopping trip with his son. With no knowledge of the symbolism behind the designs, he offered to purchase one of the hats for his 11-year old, who told his dad that the hat was “a gang thing” and could [put him in danger].

One retailer, Tom Dick and Harry's, has already agreed to stop selling the caps. The store’s manager, Isaiah Hill, told amNew York that a friend of his was jumped after wearing one of them in “the wrong neighborhood” in East New York. A spokesperson for the MLB said that the league was unaware of the symbolism.

Handout photo from Johnny C. Rivera on

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