• Abigail Hall

OKC Mayor David Holt announces Will Rogers World Airport to no longer sell 'cow tipping' apparel

Originally published at OU Daily Feb. 22, 2019

Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt announced on social media that a line of apparel will no longer be sold at Will Rogers World Airport.

Holt posted Feb. 21 on Twitter and Instagram that he worked with airport services to remove apparel from a gift store in the airport. The apparel items ranged from t-shirts, sweatshirts, mugs and more that were printed with the phrase "nothing tips like a cow — Oklahoma."

For the last decade or so, our redesigned OKC airport has made a beautiful first impression on visitors, with one notable exception: the awful cow-tipping t-shirts that bear no relation to actual life in OKC. Upon becoming Mayor, I made their removal a personal mission. (1/2) — Mayor David Holt (@davidfholt) February 21, 2019
I am pleased to report that the great team @fly_okc worked with me the last few months to sell out of the t-shirts & it was just reported to me they are officially gone forever. Efforts will continue to sell unique products that reflect the things that truly make OKC special. pic.twitter.com/W2sJA7CLny — Mayor David Holt (@davidfholt) February 21, 2019

Holt said the location of the apparel display was the first thing the annual four million passersby coming through the airport saw as they entered Oklahoma City. 

"It was as close to a welcome to Oklahoma sign as you’re gonna get when you fly into Oklahoma," Holt said. "And cow tipping has absolutely no relationship to modern life in Oklahoma City."

Holt said as mayor, he cares about the appearance of the city, and when he became mayor, he spoke with airport services about getting rid of the line.

Holt said airport services put the items on sale and within the last few months they sold out of the line. 

In an email to The Daily, Josh Ryan, airport public information officer, said the airport retail concessionaire, Paradies Lagardere, agreed the 'cow tipping' joke had run its course.

The company's local management is in the process of researching "items that portray a positive OKC/Oklahoma image," he said in the email.

Holt said he would like to see the new line of apparel reflecting the diversity and pop culture of Oklahoma City in 2019.

"This is America’s 27th largest city. It’s increasingly diverse, it’s increasingly cosmopolitan," Holt said. "We have such a thriving T-shirt subculture in our city with clever and relevant T-shirts honoring music, honoring the Thunder, honoring any number of cultural things that we all connect to — none of which involve cow tipping."

Holt said after he made the social media post he has heard an array of stories from individuals sharing their negative experiences with the former apparel, including Nan Whaley, mayor of Dayton, Florida.

I love it! #MayorsAgainstCowTippingTShirts https://t.co/N9cftcLH33 — Mayor David Holt (@davidfholt) February 21, 2019

Holt said the apparel line is nationally sold at several airports and is not representative to a specific area. 

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