Racist Adidas Black History Month Shoe; Is it Really an Accident?

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Racist Adidas Black History Month Shoe; Is it Really an Accident?

Kaitlyn Bolling, Staff Writer

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Black History Month is a great holiday to remember important people in a part of history that is sometimes not discussed in the history curriculum. But, maybe Adidas doesn’t get the picture when they recently released an all-white shoe “Celebrating Black Culture” named Ultra Boost Uncaged.

Many supporting fans were shocked to see such a discriminatory item released under their name after they were in a brawl with Nike not too long ago. Adidas eventually took down the product after it caused a social media outburst, but was still receiving backlash. The director of social media at sneaker-focused media outlet Nice Kicks, Jeffrey Jason wrote, “Adidas, you’re really ‘celebrating black culture’ with an ‘Uncaged’ all WHITE Ultraboost?!”

Consumers of Adidas were remarking on how inappropriate they were before they took the product down, and some people wondered how Adidas even passed this shoe through a board meeting of a bigger group of people. The problems with this shoe were very obvious and were very noticeable to even the slowest reacting people. Now it raises the question, is it really an accident?

8th grader, Madelyn Sanchez states, “I feel like they did it on accident but it still doesn’t make it right that they actually approved it through a meeting with a group of people.” 

Additionally, 8th grader, Alexa Garcia states, “I don’t think they did it on accident, but they should’ve at least changed the color to black since it’s for Black History Month.” Everyone has different thoughts about the subject but one stands out between them all, what does Adidas think about what they created/ caused? Another question to ask is, why do they even have a black history month collection if you don’t really represent it in all the products, it looks like they’re just trying to use it as a chance to make more profit instead of honoring others.

Other businesses have also used this part of history to sell products without using a part of their actual meaning. For example, Gucci released a balaclava sweater that people thought resembled black face because it was a full black sweater with giant red lips around the mouth area. Black face is makeup used by non- black performers that represents a black person in a dumb and over exaggerated way.

Gucci covered the slander by saying, “We consider diversity to be a fundamental value to be fully upheld, respected, and at the forefront of every decision we make. We are fully committed to increasing diversity throughout our organization and turning this incident into a powerful learning moment for the Gucci team and beyond” (As reported in The Refinery29).

This year, Adidas wasn’t the only one to make a mistake over something as important as this but certainly was one of the worst ones out there. This can be considered as tone-deafness around the issue of race but at the end of the day, would people still buy the product if they knew others viewpoints.