Adidas Cancels ‘Shackle’ Shoe That Critics Say Evokes Slavery

Jun 19, 2012 3:58pm
ht adidas shackle shoes dm 120619 wblog Adidas Cancels Shackle Shoe That Critics Say Evokes Slavery

                                                                                                                   (Image Credit: Adidas)

Adidas has canceled plans to release a sneaker adorned with rubber fasteners after an image of the shoe posted on the Adidas Originals Facebook page ignited a firestorm of controversy. The photo of the shoes, dubbed JS Roundhouse Mids by the company,  is captioned, “Tighten up your style with the JS Roundhouse Mids dropping in August. Got a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles?”

Critics, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson,  have called the $350 shoe racist and intensive, saying it evokes the era of slavery.

“You have GOT to be KIDDING ME ! Shackles ?? Really ??” one Internet poster wrote.

“Horrible,” added another

Criticism was not universal, however. The photo received nearly 38,000 likes on Facebook. But that was not enough to stop Adidas from canceling the shoe, which was expected to hit stores in mid-August.

In a statement emailed to ABC News, Adidas defended the shoe and its designer, Jeremy Scott, saying, “Our collaboration with Jeremy Scott has always stood for creativity and originality.  Jeremy Scott is renowned as a designer whose style is quirky and lighthearted and his previous shoe designs for adidas Originals have, for example, included panda heads and Mickey Mouse. 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.”

In the same statement, however, the company also apologized for the shoe, saying, “Since the shoe debuted on our adidas Originals 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.”

Designer Scott has said the shoes were inspired by a 1980s children’s toy called My Pet Monster, which has similar shackles. ”My work has always been inspired by cartoons, toys  and my childhood,” Scott told the Associated Press in a statement.

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