Nike’s ‘Black and Tan’ footwear causes controversy

Declan McAteer Posted by
declan@newrytimes.com
Saturday, March 17th, 2012
Features

Nike are known for their cool and stylish footwear, however when they released a new show nick-named ‘Black and Tan’, it caused plenty of controversy and debate amongst those in Ireland. The name will remind many of the Black and Tans, a British paramilitary outfit sent to Ireland in the 1920’s to suppress revolution, an outfit notorious for it’s attacks on the Irish civilian population.

The controversial 'Black and Tan' shoe

Nike say the shoe has been given the name because ‘The Black and Tan sneaker takes inspiration for the fine balancing act of a stout on top a pale ale in a pint glass’. However the outrage prompted a local Newry man to take his thoughts as far as CNN, an American news channel. Speaking to CNN, the local man said, “How about if an Irish company came out with a shoe and called it ‘The Taliban’ how would the Americans feel?”

Nike apologised in a statement, saying the name is not official, “It is not the official name of the shoe. It has been unofficially named by some using the phrase and we recognise it can be viewed as inappropriate and insensitive. We apologise and no offence was intended.”

Nike have said the footwear will not be released in Ireland.


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