ADIDAS bans lesbians and gays from reclaiming their shoes

No shoes for you

No shoes for you, Supergay! Click for full screenshot

Shoe giant and Portland/Beaverton local ADIDAS,  who currently hold a market share of 33% for athletic shoes, have banned gay terminology from their mi ADIDAS shoe customization service that allows shoe junkies such Alley Hector and myself to customize their latest kicks.
Words like “gay”, “lesbian”, “faggot” and “dyke” are banned – along with “homo”,  and ethnic slurs.

While playing around with the mi ADIDAS website today, I noticed it’s embroidery feature that allows users to add custom text to different parts of the shoe. Thinking that my buddy Supergay has been talking about getting some new boots, I tried entering the term “Supergay” – only to be informed that “profanity” had been detected and my embroidery was not allowed.

Bemused, I tried a bunch of other terms: Gay, homo, lesbian, lesbo, dyke, faggot as well as some sex slang like “rimjob” and ethnic slurs. Nope, all banned.

Why is ADIDAS worried about what people will put on their $150 sneakers? Surely you won’t cough up the dough if you can’t own wearing “gay rimjob” on your kicks.

More importantly – isn’t this a limitation, in some way, of free speech? Who says which terms I can reclaim, and when? How is a mulit-nat-corp controlling my identity by limiting what people can stick on their shoes?

Looks like Supergay won’t be flying along in customized embroidered kicks this summer – although I found one term that wasn’t banned: “Queer”. Oh, and “stupid”.

See for yourself here.

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