By Ryan Velez
We’ve watched the ups and downs that H&M has been put through after putting out an ad depicting a young Black child wearing a “Coolest Monkey In The Jungle” hoodie. This caused a wildfire on social media and cost them their partnership with The Weeknd. Now, Madame Noire political analyst Angela Rye has called out Adidas for making a similar blunder, but now some people are wondering if it’s a bit of a stretch.
What Rye is referencing is an ad in a mall of Manchester United soccer star, Paul Pogba, 24, intensely staring into the camera with ominous shadows surrounding him with the caption: “Predator: Master Control.” Rye considers the shoe add using a Black body to try and sell shoes, pointing out the fact that you never actually see the shoe in the ad as evidence.
“And now @adidas…this is devastating. —>a lot of you are defending this ad by saying the soccer player pictured wears this line of cleats. Where’s the shoe? Do you understand that PREDATOR has a negative connotation particularly when we are talking about the perception of Black people in the world? This is irresponsible and NOT well thought out,” reads her post on Instagram. Some opinions are mixed. In the soccer world, Pogba wearing the shoes is well known.
Adidas claimed as part of their press release of the shoe: “Turn your vision into control and prove your dominance with every precise pass, every minute of the game.
“With Predator, you leave nothing to chance, you’re the master of control.
“Keep the ball glued to your feet in these football boots, featuring a flexible Adidas Primeknit upper and ultra-responsive Boost.
“Made to dominate on firm ground.”
In this regard, the ad makes a bit of sense. Mesut Ozil and Dele Alli, also soccer stars, are contracted to wear the same shoe. To date, none of their ads has garnered as much traction. However, “predator” has been used in a negative context towards black men before, so this does create a bit of an issue. Adidas has yet to make an apology, and public opinion will likely determine whether or not they need to make one at all.