A new Adidas sneaker has sparked outrage, with some sneaker fans accusing the brand of promoting racism.The Roundhouse Mid “Handcuff” shoe, created by controversial New York designer Jeremy Scott, features a plastic orange shackle that attaches to each ankle.
The $350 sneakers hit stores in August, but Adidas promoted them on their official Facebook page last week 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?”
While the brand may be making a cheeky statement about shoe theft, many are equating these binding devices with slavery prisoners. The “Handcuff” sneaker image has more than 36,000 Facebook likes, but many of the comments are angry and disapproving.
“Please tell me this is FAKE. I am not hearing these Adidas Amistad Originals,” one woman commented on Facebook, referencing the ship famous for an African slave revolt in 1839.
One man is prepared to boycott the brand out of respect to his African heritage. “I for one will NEVER don another pair of Adidas if these shoes see the light of day in the sneaker market,” he wrote.
A Facebook user reasoned that “corporate business has a social responsibility above all to consider these perceptions before releasing a product like this.” Another flabbergasted person wondered, “This has to be some sort of prank right?”
Others simply called the design “ignorant” and the look “slavewear.”