Is adidas racist or stupid?

Everybody's favorite German shoe company, adidas, decided the pair of JS Round House Mids with shackles would be just the thing to attract the hipster contingency.

Update Tuesday June 19: Adidas cancels release of 'shackle' trainers.

They didn't think a backlash would occur when they dropped these bangin' shoes on their Originals Facebook page. Complete with this quote: Tighten up your style with the JS Roundhouse Mids, dropping in August. Got a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles?

Um, no. I can't say that my sneaker game is that hot. No.

A lot of people "liked," them and I can only assume they were ironic likes. What was unequivocally not ironic was the tremendous amount of backlash in the comments that happened pretty much immediately:

I'm waiting for the announcement that says that this ad is an "urban legend." or that Adidas has lost their minds...Do they think we are that stupid?!

RACISTS! I will never buy another Adidas product again as long as there is breath in my body!

It's obvious that not only UNEDUCATED people need training in our society today, EDUCATED people with NO COMMON SENSE need the same thing. Mr. Jeremy Designer (whoever the hell he is) needs to know that not everything is a joke! Millions of Blacks, Latinos, and other people of color (& even Jews) have suffered the indignities

Of course, other media channels picked up the story, too. Yay, publicity?

Now. I am not about to think that aididas Originals designer Jeremy Scott (The JS in the JS Mids Roundhouse name) was deliberately race baiting here. Clearly, the guy who brought us The French Fry Swimsuit and the weirdo teddy bear on acid shoes is dealing with a different reality. But I don't think it's a John Galliano reality, to reference another outlandish designer. He's just kooky. Or incredibly stupid. Or the type who likes to stir it up. Or a combo of all three. I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Either way, someone should've tapped Mister Mohawk on the shoulder and said "Yo dude, you are designing shoes for a German company who in edition to providing shoes for Jesse Owens during the Berlin Olympics also briefly made bazookas for Nazi Germany during the the Second World War. PERHAPS it's not good idea to bring up anything resembling the holocaust, or slavery or oppression."

I have to assume (and I hope i'm right) Scott might have been thinking something completely different. Lindsay Lohan house arrest, maybe. That still doesn't excuse it, though. Oh, and people have been (and still are) shot for their kicks. So it's even worse. Racist? Maybe so, maybe not. But idiotic? Trashy? Completely out of touch with any culture other than White? Probably.

Neither Jeremy Scott nor adidas has responded to the outrage. Perhaps it's a good thing. Unless they plan on sending Scott to sensitivity training, there's not much they could say, anyway.

UPDATE: adidas has released a statement concerning the 350 dollar pair of shoes the world has dubbed racist.

“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 and his previous shoe designs for adidas Originals have, for example, included panda heads and Mickey Mouse. Any suggestion that this is linked to slavery is untruthful."

Did adidas just tell the world "Go to hell?' It kinds feels like that. Good luck trying to make $350 for these babies.

...Later - 19. June 2012 - 22:49 : Jeremy Scott shoes not racist. Just "inspired," by My Pet Monster.

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Dabitch's picture

I was going to suggest that the shackles are, like low hanging jeans, a reference to jail where all the cool kids go. But then the ugly hurt my brain and fried naked pool frog?

Dabitch's picture

Update June 19th : Adidas cancels 'shackle' trainers complete with non-apology apology.

"Since the shoe debuted on our Facebook page ahead of its market release in August, adidas has received both favourable and critical feedback. We apologise if people are offended by the design and we are withdrawing our plans to make them available in the marketplace."