After massive public backlash, Adidas has announced that it no longer has plans to release the shackled sneaker that it was planning to put on the market in August. The sneakers, called the JS Roundhouse Mids, were originally placed on the Adidas Facebook page.
The JS Roundhouse Mids, which were set to hit shelves in August, were debuted on the Adidas Originals Facebook page on June 14.
“Got a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles?” the company asked on its page, displaying the shoes with shackles on the back of them. The post led to responses from around the world.
“Wow obviously there was no one of color in the room when the marketing/product team ok’d this,” said one commentator.
“I literally froze up when I saw a new design from Adidas set to hit stores in August,” said Dr. Boyce Watkins in a post for the website Your Black World.
Several message boards and blogs had already likened the orange “bracelets” to the shackles worn by black slaves in 19th Century America and today’s prison restraints.
Over 2,000 Facebook comments have been left so far, with many calling the design “offensive”, “ignorant”, claiming the company has “sunk to new lows” and branding the shoes “slavewear.”
Adidas continues to argue that the sneakers were not meant to promote slavery or incarceration. But people around the world have disagreed. The company’s decision to remove the sneakers from the market is the safe bet, since reaction was growing with each passing day. Even Rev. Jesse Jackson had something to say on the matter.
“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,” said Rev. Jackson in a statement.
Additional information from Kulture Kritic.com