adidas promo code Adidas under fire for unveiling new trainer with orange ‘shackles’ like those worn
The shoes have sparked an angry debate online. More than 2,000 Facebook users have commented, with many calling the design ‘offensive’ and ‘ignorant’, saying the firm has ‘sunk to new lows’ with its ‘slavewear’ product.
‘I’m offended by these shoes as there is nothing funny about the prison industrial complex, which is the most genocidal thing to happen to the black family since slavery itself.’
Others have likened the shoes’ orange ‘bracelets’ to the shackles worn by prisoners across the America, or said the firm is ‘promoting slavery’.
Kay Tee added: ‘Regardless if the company was saying the shoes are so hot you have to chain them to you, or they were capitalising on the whole prison style popularity.
‘But corporate business has a social responsibility above all to consider these perceptions before releasing a product like this.
Adidas has not yet commented.
It seems Adidas did not want to be outdone by fierce competitor Nike in the controversial shoe design stakes.
In March, Nike was accused of ‘huge insensitivity’ for launching a 70 ‘beer themed’ trainer called ‘The Black and Tan’ in time for St Patrick’s Day.
The firm apologised, saying it was an innocent name designed to chime with the often boozy celebrations for Ireland’s patron saint.
To others, however, it was a historical affront reviving bitter memories of a British unit sent to Ireland to suppress revolt in the 1920s.
That is because the Black and Tans was the nickname given to the Royal Irish Constabulary Reserve Force, which became notorious for a brutal crackdown during the independence war.
One outraged Irish American claimed it was the equivalent of calling a shoe ‘the Al Qaeda’.
The trainer is officially called the Nike SB Dunk Low, but has been nicknamed The Black and Tan for its colourings. An advertisement for the shoe says: ‘Tis the season for Irish beer and why not celebrate with Nike.
Crackdown: British police, known as Black and Tans for their mix and match military outfits of dark wool and khaki, hold a suspected Sinn Fein member at gunpoint and search him for weapons
‘The Black and Tan sneaker takes inspiration for the fine balancing act of a stout on top a pale ale in a pint glass.’
Others Irish Americans criticised Nike for being ‘oblivious’ to the historical connotation.
Six years ago ice cream firm Ben Jerry’s caused a furore when it launched a Black and Tan flavour. The product was quickly withdrawn.
Athough only deployed from 1920 to 1922, nationalist Ireland still associates the Black and Tans with murder, brutality,
massacre and indiscipline in the years leading to southern Ireland’s independence
Historians say there is no dispute that ‘the Tans’ killed and destroyed on a large scale, and recorded that when a Tan was killed in Cork, they burnt down more than 300 buildings.
The Catholic cardinal of the day called them ‘a horde of savages, some of them simply brigands, burglars and thieves’.
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