Adidas Mocks Slavery With New Jeremy Scott Basketball Sneaker?

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 is an author and journalist who documents culture, politics, and entertainment. He has covered The Obama White House, the summer Olympics in London, and currently serves as Lifestyle Editor for Rolling Out magazine. Follow his journey on Twitter @arshaw and Instagram @arshaw23.


  • Detroitdude123
    June 18, 2012

    No, I don’t think they did. You choose to buy them and wear them. And no one is forcing anyone is to hard manual labor for free, by wearing them. Plus they put “Addidas” on them. I’m sure they wouldn’t have meant that, and actually put their name on it. And no one makes millionaire athletes mis-manage their money. They do that themselves.

  • Gavinsoul
    June 18, 2012

    What in God’s name is this?!?!?! Only people with no sense of history, are so insensitive to this. Adidas should be ashamed of themselves. What’s next, selling a noose as a scarf?!…

  • zobop republic
    June 18, 2012

    It’s obvious that Corporate America thinks Black people are ‘stupid’!

    Dum, de-dum dum, dum!

  • Cpa00i
    June 18, 2012

    Not racism? O.K., so let’s come up with a new theme sneaker. Picture an old wooden train cart with lots of hands sticking thru, on tracks leading towards a bob wire structure.  Now let’s call it old German style.  Yeah, i can see how you would miss the message implied; the artist would say that such a theme came by watching old trains running down tracks in Europe.  Please think for yourself, don’t wait to be spoon fed.

Post a Comment