Nike Angers Irish Over Release Of ‘Black And Tan’ SB Dunk Sneakers

By Allen Starbury  |  03/14/2012

Nike released a new SB Dunk Low last week, dubbed the "Black and Tan Quickstrike," in an attempt to honor Ireland leading up to St. Patrick's Day. But, instead of getting a positive reaction, the Irish are outraged.

Apparently, someone at Nike didn't do their research.

While the shoe company named the sneaker after the popular black-n-tan colored beverage, in which you mix Guinness (which floats on top) and Harp or Bass, it's not a drink the Irish will order. Guinness and Harp are Irish beers, but the nickname comes from the the 1920s. A British paramilitary group, known as the "Black & Tans," used brutality to suppress an armed Irish Revolution, and it was known for its ruthless attacks against Irish civilians.


According to Yahoo's Trending Now blog, Ciaran Staunton (president of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform) said the name of the shoe "would be the American equivalent of calling a sneaker 'the Al Qaeda.'"

"Is there no one at Nike able to Google Black and Tan?" Staunton asked.

Nike has since issued an apology for inadvertently upsetting people in Ireland, saying "no offense was intended." A rep for the sneaker giant also told that the official name of the sneakers is "Nike SB Dunk Low," claiming the kicks were "unofficially named by some using a phrase that can be viewed as inappropriate and insensitive."

The Nike SB Dunk Low black/tan colorway dropped at retailers last week in limited quantities. Southern California retailer Primitive are carrying them in their store, as well as Michigan boutique Premier.