June 18th, 2012
(BlackMediaScoop) Don’t ever say you don’t have the power to make changes because this is proof you do! After getting blasted by expressions of outrage, Adidas announced Monday evening that it’s pulling a shoe design that critics say evokes slavery.
The design, by eccentric Beverly Hills designer Jeremy Scott, features a plastic set of shackles. Initially it was met with disbelief, then fury, especially in online arenas. On Twitter, the shoes were labeled “Adidas slave shackle kicks.” Folks, including lots of BMS readers were even talking of a boycott!
Early Monday, Adidas defended the shoes as the handiwork of a whimsical designer. By early evening, the shoe giant found itself in a public relations nightmare and announced that it had made a mistake. Uh, DUH!
The Adidas statement reads, in part: “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. Since the shoe debuted on our Facebook page ahead of its market release in August, Adidas has received both favorable and critical feedback. We apologize if people are offended by the design and we are withdrawing our plans to make them available in the marketplace.”
The promo for the new shoe says: ‘Got a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles?’ But the shoes have sparked angry debate online, with many saying there is a more cynical tone to the advertisement.
Here a just a few of of the online comments from Facebook and Twitter:
“Our ancestors fought blood, sweat and tears just so fools can turn pain into an accessory?”
“These should be taken off the market.”
“Any designer that’s nostalgic for slavery will Never have my support.”
More than 2,000 people have labelled the design ‘offensive’ and ‘ignorant’ and say the firm has ‘sunk to new lows’ in its ‘slavewear’ product.
Syracuse University professor 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.” He also said he accepted some people would accuse him of overreacting but added: ‘There is always a group of negroes who are more than happy to resubmit themselves to slavery.