“Got a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles?”
Sometimes you gotta wonder how some ideas make it through the chain of command. I present to you the JS Roundhouse Mids sneakers and yes… Those are bright yellow plastic “shackles”. After appearing on Facebook recently, it didn’t take long for the outraged comments to start flowing:
“Adidas, you should be ashamed of yourselves. The mockery of oppression that has not been overcome,” one Facebook user wrote. “Slavery isn’t a fashion example,” said another. “Everyone involved in this show should be fired ASAP! This is the new reason I won’t buy any Adidas anymore!”
Initially Adidas were unrepentant, claiming that the collaboration with quirky fashion designer Jeremy Scott was just misunderstood, saying: “Any suggestion that this is linked to slavery is untruthful.”
An unimpressed Rev. Jesse Jackson had this to say on the matter: “For Adidas to promote the athleticism and contributions of a variety of African-American sports legends — especially Olympic heroes Wilma Rudolph and Jesse Owens and boxing great Muhammad Ali — and then allow such a degrading symbol of African-American history to pass through its corporate channels and move toward actual production and advertisement, is insensitive and corporately irresponsible.”
After several days of a social media firestorm, they finally pulled the shoes from production.
The Corporate Hating™ wave is filled with cases of public outcry and backlash. The internet and social media has really made it easy for people to have a public voice and rally against brands and corporations that disappoint them. When you study this wave you find, that in most cases, big business listens when people start screaming.