Adidas is facing enormous backlash after it announced the release of the new JS Roundhouse Mids on its Facebook page on June 14.
The sneaker sports what Adidas calls “bracelets,” but consumers are equating them more to shackles. Adidas released the shoe’s tagline, which reads, “Got a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles.”
The Facebook post had over 36,000 likes, and 2,200 comments. One comment read, “I daresay that marketing & selling a shoe with a ‘chain & shackle’ accessory is a very bad idea. The ‘chain & shackle’ image has a bad connotation, that of slavery, in the African American community. I think it’s inappropriate. The idea of being chained to Adidas or any object is repulsive.”
Adidas is not the first company to get into hot water for an offensive design.
In March, Nike was forced to apologize for its “Black And Tan” shoe that it said was an homage to the beverage made from mixing stout and pale ale. However, Nike soon realized the saying was deeply offensive to the Irish population.
The Irish use the term to refer to a brutal British paramilitary unit sent to suppress Irish revolutionaries in the early 1920s.