The Inertia Contributing Writer
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Clay Pollioni Old Navy

Pro surfer Clay Pollioni found himself in the center of a social media hate-storm over an interracial Old Navy ad in which he appeared. Photo: @clay_pollioni


The Inertia

You might remember that a couple weeks ago a bunch of bigoted people got super pissed about an Old Navy ad featuring an interracial family.

These small-minded jerks weighed in on Twitter with gross comments like this one from @BellaDashwood: “Stop promoting miscegenation or I’m or else I’m taking my $$$ elsewhere!!!” And this one from @CulturalCombat: “My family and I will never step into an @OldNavy store again. This miscegenation junk is rammed down our throats from every direction.”

Thankfully, many people, including the straw-haired model, Clay Pollioni, shut down the haters by voicing support for diversity and smothering the hate with love.

Here’s his Instagram post about the whole kerfuffle:

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But if you were ready to celebrate Pollioni for speaking out, prepare to cop some jealous envy.

Aside from being a professional handsome person and apparently a very nice guy, Pollioni is a sponsored surfer – a well known and adored staple of the New Jersey surf scene. When he’s not stamping out hate or appearing in ads for brands like Ralph Lauren, H&M, J Crew or in magazine shoots, he competes in surf events and gets mighty tubed in places like Tahiti, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Hawaii and Nova Scotia. See? Told you.

The 28-year-old goofy-footer currently resides in New Jersey, where, in March, he competed alongside the likes of Balaram Stack and Will Skudin in the Cold War, a team-format comp that his team won.

He lived in Hawaii as a kid, and learned to surf Pipe and Backdoor. At one point a friend “dragged” him to a modeling audition in Honolulu.

“I was kinda against it, but the minute I got to the casting I booked the job. The pay was so good that I realized this is a great way to make some money and also have free time to surf,” said Pollioni. He’s sponsored by Body Glove, Roberts Surfboards, Smith Optics and Aulta Surf watches, among other companies.

If you were wondering, the woman and child in the Old Navy ad are fellow models, not Pollioni’s real family. So there we go, a surfer breaking down bigoted walls in our nation, one photo shoot at a time. And knowing that it all happened via a fake family, you might want to hide your girlfriends: he’s single.

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