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When Nike released their SB Black and Tan Quickstrike shoe (named after the popular Irish drink, Black and Tan—a mixture of stout and pale ale) just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, they expected the boozy kicks to receive cheers, not jeers.
And especially not accusations of cultural and historical insensitivity.
What the sportswear giant failed to catch was the etymology of the phrase “Black and Tans,” which was originally the name for a British paramilitary group in the 1920s that cruelly attacked civilians during the Irish Revolution, reports The Irish Times.
The paper also called attention to the same blunder made by Ben and Jerry’s only six years ago with the release of their “Black and Tan” flavor of ice cream—which makes this error even more moronic.
The release of the sneakers led to outrage in the Irish community, reported Yahoo News. The president of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform, Ciaran Staunton, even equated the gaffe to releasing a sneaker called ‘the al-Qaeda.’
The shoe, retailed at about $90, was released alongside the Nike SB “Guinness,” which did not raise any ruckus.
In a statement to FoxNews.com, Nike apologized for their error, explaining that the sneakers, officially called the Nike SB Dunk Low, have been “unofficially named by some using a phrase that can be viewed as inappropriate and insensitive.”
Despite the controversy surrounding the sneaks, one can’t help but think: those are some good-looking shoes. Nike’s marketing team can’t be feeling too bad about the blunder with all this free publicity.