To be filed under S.A. for “Seriously, Adidas?!”
A new shoe unveiled by Adidas last week has kicked off a chain reaction, as sneaker fans around the world slammed the company for creating a racist design.
The shoes, dubbed the JS Roundhouse Mids, were featured in a June 14 post on the Adidas Originals Facebook page.
The purple and orange sneakers come with a set of plastic “shackles” that strap around the ankles. ”Got a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles?” the company asked in the Facebook post. The post was “liked” by more than 36,000 people by Monday morning and had received more than 2,000 comments — but the reaction was mainly negative.“These shoes are the WORST idea EVER! Really, we’re supposed to voluntarily buy shackles now?!” wrote one commenter.
“Who ever wears this is openly saying they are a slave,” said another.
Fortunately, they finally wised up and decided this wasn’t the best idea:
The adidas JS Roundhouse Mid, bagged Monday after burgeoning online criticism that its ankle shackles smacked of slavery, was the just latest example of sneaker gaffes. (Adidas, in a statement, said “we apologize if people are offended by the design.”)
I have to believe in my heart of hearts Adidas wouldn’t deliberately endorse a shoe design that was a tacit representation of slavery, especially considering that basketball shoes are largely marketed to an African American demographic. In that light, I have to at least say the good folks from Adidas involved in the development process are pretty oblivious to the obvious. This isn’t some difficult concept best explored by a Ph.D. in sociology. This is creating a shoe – presumably targeted to black folks – that has shackles on it. If you can’t see the apparent racial overtones here, maybe designing basketball shoes shouldn’t be in your body of work.