LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Adidas has decided to cancel a new sneaker line because of complaints that the shackles on the shoes are racist.
Beverly Hills designer Jeremy Scott’s latest sneaker creation with Adidas was inspired by a childhood toy – My Pet Monster, a smiling, fanged monster with blue fur wearing orange shackles — but the image of the shoes have evoked images of slavery in many minds.
The high-top sneakers sport black laces, orange accents, gray and white Velcro straps and purple suede trim. However, it’s the orange Adidas-branded shackles and chains attached the sneakers that have the shoe company’s fans crying racist.
On the page, the company says, “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?”
The shoe’s Facebook page has more than 37,000 likes, but the majority of the nearly 3,000 comments are complaints that the sneakers are racist and remind them of slavery.
One comment left on the page said, “um…really adidas? way to throw it back to slavery times.” Another said, “These shoes are the WORST idea EVER! Really, we’re supposed to voluntarily buy shackles now?! #ignorant #terrible.”
As the news of the shoes spread, Jeremy Scott tweeted an image of “My Pet Monster” and said, “MY WORK HAS ALWAYS BEEN INSPIRED BY CARTOONS, TOYS & MY CHILDHOOD…”
“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,” Adidas said in a statement released Monday. “We apologize if people are offended by the design and we are withdrawing our plans to make them available in the marketplace.”