February has only just begun, but one retailer has already landed in hot water over a product related to Black History Month. On Monday, Adidas announced it was pulling a running shoe from its Black History Month lineup following social media backlash.
The all-white shoe was part of a new collection featuring designs inspired by the Harlem Renaissance, according to a statement from Adidas. The Renaissance is the 1920s movement that marked a turning point of recognition for the cultural contribution from African Americans.
The collection includes shoes and apparel across all performance categories. The shoe in question was all-white and part of the "Uncaged" line—it immediately drew criticism from consumers for its color and name.
Celebrating BHM with an all white shoe? @adidas 🤦🏾♂️🤦🏾♂️🤦🏾♂️— Paco (@Pacovenchy) February 1, 2019
I walked into a @JDSports today to look at the ultra boost shoe @adidas I was told by an employee that these shoes were made to celebrate black history month. Confused the employee proceeded to tell me that the shoe was also made of cotton? Hence the all white. I am disgusted— barcaaaaaaaa (@cocosimple88) February 2, 2019
An all white shoe for BHM? Really @adidas ? Come on son! Do better dawg!— 💾 (@DigitalFile_Dee) February 1, 2019
@adidas releasing an all white sneaker in your Black History Month collection ain't it— Lexi Matzouranis (@alexiamatza) February 3, 2019
Still tripping about this "Adidas drops an all-white shoe called "Uncaged" for Black History Month"— Chris Fields, MLHR (@ResumeCrusade) February 4, 2019
How'd that convo go?, "Hey I have a great idea, for black history month, let's make an all white shoe!" - "That's awesome" - Idiots @Adidas @adidasUS
Adidas removed the shoe from its collection, and issued a statement regretting its inclusion.
"Toward the latter stages of the design process, we added a running shoe to the collection that we later felt did not reflect the spirit or philosophy of how Adidas believes we should recognize and honor Black History Month," the sportswear company said. "After careful consideration, we have decided to withdraw the product from the collection."
Other brands have come under fire for similar seemingly tone-deaf products and marketing. In September, Los Angeles-based retailer Revolve pulled a sweatshirt that read "Being fat is not beautiful, it's an excuse," from its site. In addition, in last year's Super Bowl, Fiat Chrysler used a Martin Luther King Jr. speech as part of its commercial, which drew the ire of viewers.