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29 Mar, 2021 19:23

Nike denies involvement in ‘Satan Shoes’, but critics can't help but keep noticing the SWOOSH on the sides

Nike denies involvement in ‘Satan Shoes’, but critics can't help but keep noticing the SWOOSH on the sides

Nike has taken steps to distance itself from the blood-injected ‘Satan Shoes’ promoted by rapper Lil Nas X, saying it didn't make or endorse the product, but skeptics were more swayed by the iconic Swoosh logo on the sneakers.

“We do not have a relationship with Little Nas X or MSCHF,” Nike said in a statement to NBC News on Sunday, two days after news of the new sneakers began to create a buzz on social media. “Nike did not design or release these shoes, and we do not endorse them.”

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The company had remained silent as the new shoes – a collaboration between Lil Nas X and streetwear company MSCHF – generated controversy, including criticism of Nike, for days. And when it did disavow the product, which features red ink and a drop of blood in the see-through heel, it did so without saying anything critical or denying that it approved use of its trademark.

“Their logo is on the shoe,” former California gubernatorial candidate Chelene Nightingale said Monday on Twitter. “Statements mean nothing if not backed by action. Has Nike filed a lawsuit to stop the use of their brand logo and advertisement for the shoe? Satan is the master of lies and deception.”

Author and Blexit movement founder Candace Owens expressed similar doubts: “Nike is alleging that they do not have any relationship with Lil Nas X, and yet, the Satan shoe bears the Nike Swoosh.”

The shoes not only have Nike's logo, but are customized from the Nike Air Max '97. They feature several references to Satan, including a pentagram medallion hanging from the laces and “Luke 10:18” printed on the side, alluding to the Bible verse regarding Satan falling “like lightning” from heaven. MSCHF created a special edition of 666 pairs, individually numbered, and sold them for $1,018 (another reference to Luke 10:18) for each pair. The shoe box was covered with a scene of hell and other Satanic imagery.

The Satan Shoes were released on Monday morning and reportedly sold out within one minute, no doubt aided by the wave of publicity.

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Critics were quick to point out that Nike didn't take issue with the Satan Shoes, but in 2019, the company canceled a new July 4 model featuring a Betsy Ross flag because it was deemed racially offensive by Black Lives Matter activist Colin Kaepernick.

“We really do live in stupid times,” entrepreneur and podcast host Carol Roth said. Radio host Clay Travis agreed, saying, “Satire is truly dead.”

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