Shackle Shoes, which are also known on an official level as JS Roundhouse Mid, were designed by a guy named Jeremy Scott. Although he had intended this footwear to be fun, extravagant, and, perhaps, a little outrageous, the last thing he probably wanted his creation to spark was controversy. Racial controversy, at that. Apparently a large group of individuals from the African-American community were highly offended by the sneakers, due to the inclusion of a pair of shackles that could be fastened around the wearer’s ankle. Instead of viewing the kicks as cartoonish, they reminded a lot of people about slavery. As a result, the shoes were labeled racially insensitive, prompting Adidas to issue a statement.
“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,” read the statement.
This, of course, fell on deaf ears. In the minds of the offended parties, Adidas had committed an unforgivable sin. The statement did nothing to change the minds of those who were livid about the sneakers, including Reverend Jesse Jackson, who referred to the shoes in his Huffington Post blog as “human degradation”. As a result, the sneakers, which were scheduled to appear on retail shelves in August, were officially cancelled. Those of you who were hoping to invest your hard-earned cash in a pair of shoes that came equipped with orange “My Pet Monster” shackles, your dreams have been dealt a crushing blow.
If you pay a visit to the shoe’s announcement on the company’s Facebook page, you can read through over 3,000 user opinions, ranging from those who feel the shoes are a virtual slap in the face directed at the African-American community to folks who don’t understand how something so colorful and vibrant and seemingly innocent could be perceived in such a heinous manner.
Defeated and out of gas, the company issued a statement to the Daily News on the matter. “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.”
Below you can find some Twitter reactions to the news. Although some people are upset by the appearance of these peculiar kicks, most people on the micro-blogging site are having a bit of fun with the announcement. Adidas controversy is our tickled rib. Take a look.
Adidas canceled ‘shackle’ shoes. What were they thinking? I know, ‘black folks will wear anything!… http://t.co/GcIvZSdt
Was I the only one who saw those shackle shoes and thought “my pet monster” right away? http://t.co/CeDNMw7D
Slave-shackle tennis shoes controversy prompts Adidas to drop slogan “Abolition is Nothing”
Seems I was wrong a very white Jeremy Scott designed those “shackle” tennis shoes for Adidas… where’s the nearest bridge???
I can’t decide whether I want the Shackle Shoes or the Air Amistads