This past March, Nike got in hot water for timing the release of its Black and Tan shoes to coincide with St Patrick’s Day, apparently unaware of the fateful meaning of “Black and Tan” in Irish history.

Not to be outdone, Adidas was planning an August release of a new line of trainer shoes, the JS Roundhouse Mids (h/t History News Network), whose ludicrous ankle appurtenances bear a remarkable resemblance to shackles and chains worn by African slaves.  Naturally, this has caused a row (as well it should have), and Adidas has scrapped plans for the shoe.

I’m reasonably sure the designer meant well – whimsical touches often provide the extra oomph that will snag shoppers – but this?  Never mind that plastic ankle chains and shackles are as useful on training shoes as onion bagels are on feminist bicycles; doesn’t anyone in Adidas’s hierarchy know anything about history?  How many people and/or review teams did the design go through before it was finally approved?  Now, I wouldn’t necessarily go with the inevitable racism charge, but “just plain stupid” will do nicely, with a large side orders of “asinine,” “ignoramus” and “brainless.”

And so here I go with my familiar plaints:

a.  Where do they get these people?

b.  How many ways are there to spell “putz?”

About Michael J. Kubat

I'm a grumpy Czech-born clinical social worker who is vitally interested in the survival in the United States as a viable democracy and a beacon of hope for the rest of the world.
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