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Adidas cancels the “Shackle Shoe”; Are black people too sensitive?

The internet was buzzing yesterday with the picture of a new shoe set to be released by Adidas. As you can see in the picture, the JS Roundhouse Mid created quite a controversy for it’s “slavery” type of design.

Adidas released statements yesterday offering an explanation to the shoe design and the designer.

“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. Jeremy Scott is renowned as a designer whose style is quirky and lighthearted … Any suggestion that this is linked to slavery is untruthful.”


Adidas on ‘shackles’: We apologize if people are offended by the design & we are withdrawing our plans to make them available.

Call me naive, but I don’t believe the designer had slavery in mind when he made the shoe. I’m not saying that I don’t see how thoughts of slavery could be associated when you look at the shoe. But to say that he set out to do that, and a company like Adidas with high profile African American clients like Dwight Howard, Derek Rose and RGIII would green light the idea based on that is kind of ludicrous.

Have you seen how fashion has been lately? Jeans, dresses, hats, shoes, even glasses (hello Russell, Dwyane and Lebron) have all just been for a lack of a better term, weird. Of course I use that term because not in my taste. If its in your taste then you would wear it.

Fashion is no different than art and music. Designers will push the envelope when in the lab to see who can come up with the next outrageous design. This is what happened with this shoe design.

Is it reminiscent of slavery? Yes. Can the shoe sell without the shackles? Maybe. Was it done on purpose to remind millions of blacks about slavery? NO.

About Ed

Ed is one half of the Sports Brothers. He has been in the radio industry for 14 years working in several formats including urban and talk. Upon returning to Miami in 2006 and working at WTPS, he and Jeff Fox were paired up and started The Sports Brothers.