After Adidas unveiled their latest shoe design, which features plastic orange ‘shackles’ attached to the ankles by chains in the same color, it started a huge debate online.
More than 2,000 Facebook users commented on the shoes… some of them found the design offensive, racist and ignorant and others think that Adidas “sunk to new lows” with their design.
Adidas was originally releasing these on August 12, for about $350 a pair with ads and slogan using “lock” puns such as “Tighten up your style with the JS Roundhouse Mids, dropping in August” and “Got a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles”
Dr Boyce Watkins, writing for Your Black World, said: ‘Shackles. The stuff that our ancestors wore for 400 years while experiencing the most horrific atrocities imaginable.
‘Most of which were never documented in the history books and kept away from you in the educational system, all so you’d be willing to put shackles on your ankles today and not be so sensitive about it.’
People likened the orange shackles to the shackles that worn by prisoners across the U.S.
This is not the first time a company is accused of being racist or offensive.
Nike was accused of ‘huge insensitivity’ for launching a ‘beer-themed’ trainer called “‘The Black and Tan”, which was the nickname given to the Royal Irish Constabulary Reserve Force that became notorious for a brutal crackdown during the independence war.
Ben & Jerry’s also caused some controversy when they have launched a ice cream with the same name “The Black and Tan” but the product was quickly withdrawn.
Adidas has now canceled all plans to sell the Jeremy Scott shoes and released the following statement to the press: ”The design of the JS Roundhouse Mid is nothing more than the designer Jeremy Scott’s outrageous and unique take on fashion and has nothing to do with slavery. We apologize if people are offended by the design and we are withdrawing our plans to make them available in the marketplace.”
The Reverend Jessie Jackson said of the shoes: “These slave shoes are odious and we as a people should be called to resent and resist them. If put into production and placed on the market, protests and pickets signs will follow. Adidas cannot make a profit at the expense of commercialized human degradation”
Many are saying Adidas made the right call in pulling them from production because of not only the obvious overtones being suggested, but the shoes themselves were hideous.