Nike Releases the Black and Tan Shoe in Honor of Ireland; Irish Not Impressed


It's offensive in name, and also in color.
  • It's offensive in name, and also in color.
Nike decided to get in the St. Patrick's Day spirit -- and make some more money -- by releasing two pair of Irish-themed shoes for the holiday. One has been dubbed the "Guinness," the other the "Black and Tan," named for the popular American drink which combines Guinness and a pale ale in the same glass.

The whole idea of honoring Ireland by naming shoes after alcohol seems a bit backhanded (is that all Ireland is good for, Nike?), but Nike really stepped in the pooh with the Black and Tan.

Like much of what Americans believe to be traditional Irish stuff, it turns out the Black and Tan is not a popular drink in Ireland. Rather, it's the name of a paramilitary organization that committed atrocities against Irish civilians during the Irish War of Independence in the early 1920s. So steeped in infamy is the term that "Black and Tan" is a derogatory term for an Englishman in Ireland to this day.

Whoops. One unnamed Irish leader likened it to Nike releasing a shoe called "the Al Qaeda."

We're gonna need all the help we can get if the people of Ireland ever discover that other popular American St. Paddy's Day beverage -- The Irish Car Bomb.

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