Reebok Pulls TV Commercial

Tuesday, May 1st 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

INDEPENDENCE, Ky. (AP) _ Reebok International Inc. pulled its television commercial showing a pro basketball star leaping over an oncoming car after a Kentucky teen was injured trying a similar stunt.

``We don't want to be seen as encouraging any kind of this behavior,'' said John Wardley, a spokesman at the shoe company's headquarters in Canton, Mass.

Reebok pulled the 30-second ``defy convention'' ad from Thursday's CBS broadcast of ``Survivor: The Australian Outback'' and replaced it with a commercial featuring tennis star Venus Williams. The ad that was yanked used computer effects to make it appear that Houston Rockets star Steve Francis leaped over an oncoming car.

A 16-year-old boy from Independence broke his leg and ankle Monday trying to jump over a car driven by a friend while another teen videotaped the action.

Police in the northern Kentucky city said the teens were inspired by MTV's ``Jackass'' show, but MTV said the show has never run a stunt in which someone gets hit by a car.

But lawyer Eric Deters said the boys were not trying to imitate MTV or a Reebok ad.

``They all said they were doing this for kicks and fun,'' Deters said Thursday. ``We all did stupid things.''

Police filed felony charges of wanton endangerment against the 17-year-old driver and the 16-year-old passenger who was in the car videotaping the stunt.