American sportswear giant Nike has issued an apology after launching a St Patrick’s Day themed trainer, which raised memories of a British paramilitary unit that were sent to Ireland to suppress revolt in the 1920s.The trainer officially named the‘SB Dunk Low’ were launched in American in time for this weekend’s St Patrick’s Day celebrations and were nicknamed the ‘Black and Tan’ kicks as they mirror the classic layering you see when a pint of Guinness is mixed with Harp pale ale, and the insoles also feature an image of a pint glass.
The limited edition $90 product was marketed via a number of online American retailers, not the official Nike store, as the ‘Black and Tan’ sneakers, with one site adding 'Tis the season for Irish beer and why not celebrate with Nike'.
In a statement to Fox News a spokesperson for Nike said: “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.”
Irish Americans have criticised the sportswear company due to the fact that the Royal Irish Constabulary Reserve Force, were widely known as the Black and Tans for their makeshift uniforms, a regiment that carried out a brutal crackdown on Roman Catholics between 1920 and 1921.
This isn’t the first time that an American brand has been criticised for inappropriate use of the phrase ‘Black and Tan’, ice-cream brand Ben & Jerry's released a 'Black and Tan' flavour in 2006, which was only made available in the US.