Nike put a $90 foot in its mouth, so to speak.
The athletic apparel company drew criticism this week after an advertisement for its latest shoe, the Nike SB Dub Low, offended residents of Northern Ireland for drawing a misinformed comparison to St. Patrick’s Day.
An advertisement for the shoe reads: “Tis the season for Irish beer and why not celebrate with Nike. The Black and Tan sneaker takes inspiration for the fine balancing act of a Stout on top a Pale Ale in a pint glass.”
“Black and Tan” is a common name for this beer combination, but it was also the name of the Royal Irish Constabulary Reserve Force, an aggressive arm of the London-controlled military that attacked Irish civilians during the 1920s War of Independence.
Ciaran Staunton, president of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform, told IrishCentral.com that the comparison between the sneaker and the Black and Tan would be akin to calling the shoe “the Al Qaeda.” She quipped: “Is there no one at Nike able to Google Black and Tan?”
The Daily Caller’s resident Irishman, Neil Munro, shared the sentiment: “We should laugh. In all likelihood it was ignorance, not rudeness.”
Nike officials apologized for the “inappropriate” and “insensitive” comparison in a statement to Fox News.