January 5, 2009

Racy snowboards spark free speech debate

Free speech on the ski slopes is being put to the test in Vermont because of a new breed of racy snowboard designs, observers say.

The Playboy snowboards sold at a local ski shop in Burlington, Vt., featuring naked women are drawing protests from parents and others, such as the Girl Scout Council of Vermont, which is considering taking its concerns to state lawmakers, The Boston Globe reported Monday.

When you really think about it, it's a young man standing on top of a naked woman's body, Nicole Zarrillo, 38, an office manager for a Burlington nonprofit told the newspaper. I probably could have gotten past it, because I try to have an open mind, but seeing it like that, it's offensive.

Burton Snowboards, which sells the snowboards and has a reputation as a progressive company, is at the center of a controversy with residents, students, and politicians debating free speech on the slopes, the newspaper said. The owners declined to be interviewed, the Globe said.