Nike Apologizes to Irish for 'Black and Tan' Shoe

Company red-faced after St. Patrick's Day shoe gaffe
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2012 6:09 AM CDT
The offending shoe, officially named the SB DUNK Low.   (Nike)

(Newser) – Nike has apologized to any Irish people offended by the nickname for a sneaker released in time for St. Patrick's Day. The "Black and Tan" shoe, released along with the "Guinness" shoe, was named after a mixed-beer drink in the US. But Nike was apparently unaware that in Ireland, the name is associated with bands of British paramilitaries that went after civilians in the '20s, the Irish Times reports.

The shoe "has been unofficially named by some using a phrase that can be viewed as inappropriate and insensitive," Nike said in a statement. "We apologize. No offense was intended." (The shoe's official name is the SB Dunk Low.) Ordering a "black and tan" in an American bar would get you a half pint of stout topped with a half pint of pale ale, but in Ireland "we'd use different terms," an Irish Times reporter tells NPR. "And in fact, we wouldn't really dilute our Guinness over here. It's not really the done thing to do." (Read more Nike stories.)

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