Foot in mouth? Reebok denies its making ‘Israeli Independence’ sneakers
Sportswear company Reebok has denied claims it’s producing a shoe to commemorate the 68th anniversary of Israel’s Independence Day.
Described as a “one-time celebratory release,” it emerged on Monday that Reebok was releasing the limited edition shoe, blue and white in color and emblazoned with “Israel 68” on the heel.
#Reebok releases new sneaker design in honour of #Israel 's 68th #IndependenceDay via @Jerusalem_Post#AmYisraelChaipic.twitter.com/zo3QFaNtFY— Helene Rothschild (@H_Rothschild) May 9, 2016
The shoe’s design was widely panned on social media, but it emerged on Tuesday that the shoe was not in fact being produced and there had been a miscommunication, reported the Jerusalem Post.
It would be unacceptable to sell a t-shirt promoting ISIS or Hitler, so why is @Reebok promoting the terror regime Israel? #BDS#Reebok— Marcus Storm (@MarcsandSparks) May 9, 2016
anybody else getting a pair?— Eobard Thawne (@FluorescentGrey) May 9, 2016
i still have my special edition African apartheid Reeboks https://t.co/OVtfaDPSfm
Reebok Israel explained that the shoe had been “prepared by an independent designer and should not be presented as a product by the company's international brand.”
Ignoring all the political issues surrounding the Reebok Israel 68 trainer, how ugly are they? Terrible all round. pic.twitter.com/uL5oa8VH7c— Chris Taylor (@the_itch1980) May 10, 2016
The shoe had been customized on the Reebok website and the personalized design was then sent to a local Reebok distributor along with a statement, which was interpreted as an official release from the company.
.@Reebok celebrates the ethnic cleansing of Palestine w/ limited edition “Israel 68” sneaker https://t.co/Bo0lGfOfDW— Rania Khalek (@RaniaKhalek) May 9, 2016
Adidas claims to support human rights, so why is its subsidiary @Reebok celebrating Israeli "independence"? https://t.co/G6P8L4bVGA— Ali Abunimah (@AliAbunimah) May 9, 2016
Reebok International have said they “do not support this initiative” and that it would like to “distance itself from the shoe”.
The company explained that it doesn’t allow the politicization of its sportswear and refrains from tying their products to national emblems or countries, although this seems to have been overlooked on some occasions.
An old skool classic returns! Reebok Classics in full leather £55 with signature Union Jack flag! #1983 #reebokpic.twitter.com/pG9EdVjRt2— 80s Casual Classics (@casualclassics) February 12, 2016
Cops are liable to "flag" us down in these. Heeheehoha @ZAPFitness#reebok#mericapic.twitter.com/O2tDbQ8Cpp— Sinead Haughey (@sinead_haughey) February 9, 2016
アウトレットサイコーだぁ！— なるみん＊NARU＊나루미 (@NaruMickey117) November 15, 2015
Union Jackがさりげに❤️w pic.twitter.com/J4aODOabm8