This is what happens when well intentioned faux pas go amiss...
Global sports retailer, Nike has faced backlash over their impending roll out of their limited edition Nike Air max quick strike, Fourth of July trainer. The Independence day release was pulled back after fans began to notice that the flag used for the Patriotic themed shoe, had in fact been an iteration of the 1777 flag created by famed upholster. Red stripes with 13 stars in a circular formation.
Colin Kaepernick, NFL player who received backlash in 2016, for taking the knee during the US national Anthem. After a dormant Nike- Kaepernick partnership that lasted 2 years of blacklisting from brand affiliates and the NFL (mind you, this remains ongoing) In 2018, Nike broke their silence and Kaepernick had partnered on a Just Do It campaign: Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.
Now, in regards to the 4th of July trainers, Kapernick contacted Nike bosses to explain the offense of the Betsy Ross flag as a symbolic flag flown during slavery and its appropriation by neo Nazis. “these groups’ attempts to appropriate and fetishize the American Revolution for their own ugly (and historically inaccurate) purposes,” Scott P. Marler, associate professor of history at University of Memphis.
The shoe was pulled from shelves soon after followed by a statement from Nike spokesperson Sandra Carreon-John: “based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the nation’s patriotic holiday,” said Nike spokesperson Sandra Carreon-John to the Times.
To no surprise the resell market has boomed as a result of the controversy with the limited edition sneaker being bid at a rate for $2,500 according to the commerce selling platform, StockX.
The novelty of a scandal has long existed and often then not, aids in its appeal. Here’s a list of other scandalous trainers:
Adidas Ultra Boost- Black history Month Edition
In celebration of Black History Month, Adidas were forced to rethink the limited edition ultra boost trainers. Inspired the Harlem Renaissance, the trainers had one majorly glaring point of criticism. The colour-ways were entirely white with black soles (as all boosts do) however. with an understanding of any comprehensive study on power and race, this was an immediate issue.
The converse Loaded weapon
Fro obvious reasons, 2003 roll out the Converse dunk were met with uproar. The reworked “Weapon” was an NBA favorite with players like Magc Johnson sporting the shoe. However with a slew of weapons related charges by players including Allen Iverson, the name seemed culturally insensitive. The company hit back by stating,”This is merely the name of a shoe.”
Adidas JS Roundhouse Mids
By 2012, Jeremy Scott became a popular trainer collaborator with Adidas. The Roundhouse miss however were characterized with a shackle-like Adidas monogrammed attachment. The slavery comparisons were difficult to miss.
RICK Ross VS Reebok
Rapper Rick Ross was a highly anticipated collaborator with Reebok. However, during pushback with a lyric from the hit song U.O.E.N.O by Rocko ft Future and Ross, he rapped: “Put molly all in her champagne/she ain’t even know it/I took her home and I enjoyed that/she ain’t even know it” the connotation to rape were difficult to tolerate and Reebok severed ties with the rapper.
Now, this is an odd one. The 2016 saga came about after the US presidential election whereby Donald Trump became the 45th President. Matt LeBretton, New Balance’s rep spoke of how the US’s decision over Trump was a “move in the right direction”. New Balance fans hit by burning their trainers and video recording the ordeal for social media. Although The company retracted the statement, Trump supporters retaliated and co-opted the protested shoe by making it apart of their uniform. The shoe is now associated with Neo-Naziism.
Nike Air Bakin ’97- “Allah”
The Nike Air Bakin. The 1997 shoe was supposed to be a symbol of heat with a flame on the back. However, as the release was underway, Muslim fans began to notice likeness to the Arabic spelling of “Allah”. This came as an additionally offense to the already insensitive campaign two years prior where, LA Clippers player John Williams featured that read: “They called him Allah.” For obvious blasphemous tones, all shoes were recalled.
5 July 2019