So what exactly is a black and tan? There are two main schools of thought on the subject. If we are to believe all the expert historians then the Black and Tans were a mercenary army of ruthless thugs sent to Ireland during the war of Independence. The other school of thought formulated by Nike would have us believe that a black and tan is a shoe. This shoe to be exact.
Let me introduce you to the Dunk Low “Black and Tans”. This special edition shoe was released to coincide with Saint Patrick’s Day. But the oblivious ‘brainboxes’ at Nike were taken by surprise when they were discovered their offensive blunder. Little did they know, but the Black and Tans are a revered and detested part of Irish history. They have committed countless atrocities and are responsible for murdering many unarmed Irish men and women. Here are the ‘actual’ Black and Tans.
The real ‘kick in the teeth’ comes in the form of this shoe being released to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. To put it into context it would be similar to releasing a pair of shoes called ‘Bin Laden’s’ on September 11th. Which of course would generate a far greater reaction from the media and prompt a more adequate apology from Nike.
‘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.’ ‘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.’
This incident leaves me wondering how Nike didn’t notice the offensive nature of the term ‘Black and Tan’? Its fair to say that they might not be well versed on the area of Irish history. And you would excuse them for it, as it doesn’t aid the production of footwear. But all they had to do was type 3 little words into the google search bar and wait approximately 0.15 seconds. They would have immediately been bombarded with accounts of atrocities committed by their harmless shoe’s namesake.