News: Adidas Stands Behind Controversial Shackled, Slavery-Like Sneakers

Monday, Jun 18, 2012 6:24PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Popular sneaker company Adidas has come forward to defend its controversial upcoming JS Roundhouse Mid sneaker which many believe was created with slavery in mind.

Despite the shackled sneakers' appearance, Adidas has slammed the accusations and stood behind its creativity.

Adidas is defending its design for sneakers with orange ankle bracelets and chains, despite criticism from bloggers and Facebook users that the shoes resemble shackles worn by African slaves. "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," an Adidas spokesperson said. "Any suggestion that this is linked to slavery is untruthful." Jeremy Scott's past designs for Adidas have featured panda heads and Mickey Mouse. (Black Youth Project)

Tensions flared when a sneak peek of the kicks surfaced last week.

Last Thursday, the promotional team posted a photo of the kicks- which are expected to land in August- on its Facebook page. The problem that so many fans have taken up with the Jeremy Scott-designed shoe is not its basic functionality, but rather its design: The shoe features a bright orange, shackle-like element that many associate with slavery. Upon posting, Adidas received an influx of outraged responses from the Internet and fans everywhere. The number of comments and criticism got so bad that the brand removed its original offending post from its Facebook page. However, that doesn't eradicate the issue that the shoe still exists. (Philly)

Floods of consumers struck Adidas' Facebook page to lash out at the company.

Many users left comments on the page's bulletin board ripping the day-glo orange shackles, saying they are particularly offensive to African-Americans because they evoke imagery of slavery and prisoners on the chain gang. "Adidas, you should be ashamed of yourselves. The mockery of oppression that has not been overcome," posted Facebook user Dace Moore on the photo's bulletin board. Many users were calling for a boycott of the sneaker company. "Slavery isn't a fashion example," posted user Antonio Leche. "Everyone involved in this show should be fired ASAP! This is the new reason I won't buy any Adidas anymore!" User Kay Tee added: "It's offensive and inappropriate in many ways. Not to mention ugly." "How would a Jewish person feel if Nike decided to have a shoe with a swastika on it and tried to claim it was OK in the name of fashion?" (FOX News)

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