ADIDAS HAS CANCELLED plans for a new sneaker amid criticisms that the shoes could be seen to symbolise slavery.
The ‘shackle sneakers’, pictured right, stirred up a storm online when Adidas posted a photo of the new shoes on its Facebook page last Thursday, CNN reports.
Expected to release in August, the high-top sneakers dubbed the JS Roundhouse Mids were posted on the company’s Facebook profile with the caption, “Got a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles?”
In a statement, Adidas said the sneaker “is nothing more than the designer Jeremy Scott’s outrageous and unique take on fashion and has nothing to do with slavery”.
Some Twitter users expressed their distaste for the new Adidas design. Ferrari Sheppard said, “Those Adidas shackles could symbolise slavery, or imprisonment, either way, I’m not interested,” and Naissa Lopez tweeted, “Who would wear those is beyond me”.
Adidas said the design has received both favourable and critical feeback but still decided to withdraw plans to make them available in the marketplace.
Before the shoes were removed from Facebook, Rev. Jesse Jackson also condemned the new design. “The attempt to commercialize and make popular more than 200 years of human degradation, where blacks were considered three-fifths human by our Constitution is offensive, appalling and insensitive,” Jackson said.
Adidas removed the post yesterday evening.