Innovative sneaker designs are often praised by those who are affiliated within the sneaker culture. However, adidas may have gone a step too far when designing the JS Roundhouse Mids.

The JS Roundhouse sneaker, scheduled to be released in August, have a purple, grey, orange and black color way. But the one feature on the shoe that could be insensitive to blacks is the orange shackles that are attached to the heel of the sneakers that can be cuffed around the ankles.

While the designers of the JS Roundhouse have yet to speak about the rationale behind the design, the shackles conjure thoughts of an ongoing social commentary in sports.

In his best-selling book, Forty Million-Dollar Slave, William Rhoden wrote about race relations in sports. Young black male athletes sign million-dollar contracts, but most end up broke and divorced several years after retirement.

Although the mental and physical abuse of slavery will never be comparable to the plight of today’s black athlete, there are overtones from slavery that continue to exist in sports today.

Share your thoughts. Did adidas cross the line by producing sneakers with shackles?

A.R. Shaw

Documenting a culture one story at a time...

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