National Basketball Association
Adidas cancels 'shackle' sneaker
National Basketball Association

Adidas cancels 'shackle' sneaker

Published Jun. 19, 2012 1:00 a.m. ET

Footwear giant Adidas announced Monday evening it was pulling a new shoe design, after a storm of criticism about the sneakers, which feature what looks like shackles attached to them.

The JS Roundhouse Mids, which were due to be released in August, were previewed on the Adidas Originals Facebook page in a photo posted on June 14.

Although the German company insisted the design had nothing to do with slavery, its own promotional material did not quell criticism, reported.

"Got a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles?" reads a tagline posted beneath the picture.


Many users left comments on the page's bulletin board ripping the bright orange shackles, saying they are particularly offensive to African-Americans because they evoke imagery of slavery and prisoners on the chain gang.

"Adidas, you should be ashamed of yourselves. The mockery of oppression that has not been overcome," posted Facebook user Dace Moore on the photo's bulletin board.

Many users were calling for a boycott of the sneaker company, as pictures of the sneakers went viral online.

By Monday night, the backlash against Adidas had become a public relations nightmare, forcing the company to issue an apology.

In a statement, obtained by the Los Angeles Times, the company said "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.

"Since the shoe debuted on our 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."


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