Ian Patrick, FISM News
Nike sued a New York-based company known as MSCHF for infringing on and diluting its trademark with the sale of “Satan Shoes.” Made in collaboration with rapper Lil Nas X and supposedly containing a drop of human blood in each pair, the devil-themed shoes went on sale online on Monday. Lil Nas X is not named as a defendant in the suit.
The shoes are customized Nike Air Max 97 sneakers that contain red ink and “one drop of human blood” in the sole, according to a website describing the limited edition shoes. MSCHF sold the controversial shoes in less than one minute at a cost of $1,018 per pair. The cost is reflective of a verse in the Bible, Luke 10:18, which in the NIV reads “He replied, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.'” The verse is also featured prominently on the shoe, along with a pentagram medallion hung around the laces.
In its lawsuit Nike said the shoes were made “without Nike‘s approval and authorization,” and that it was “in no way connected with this project.”
There is already evidence of significant confusion and dilution occurring in the marketplace, including calls to boycott Nike in response to the launch of MSCHF’s Satan Shoes based on the mistaken belief that Nike has authorized or approved this product.
MSCHF is a company known to make and sell purposefully weird and absurd products, including an earlier iteration of a custom made “Jesus Shoes.” Made with the same Nike Air Max 97 sneakers used in the “Satan Shoes,” this product featured a cross medallion on the laces as well as “holy water” in the sole that their website says was “sourced from the River Jordan.” It also featured text on the shoe referencing the verse Matthew 14:25, which in the NIV reads “Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.”
Nike asked the court to immediately stop MSCHF from fulfilling orders for the shoes and requested a jury trial to seek damages.
Lil Nas X, in the meantime, has recieved backlash for his promotion of both the shoes and a new music video released around the same time. The rapper and singer has taken to social media to defend himself, saying it was meant to be a joke, but many Christians and conservatives have spoken out against it.
Cultural voices like Candace Owens and elected officials like Governor Kristi Noem have voiced their displeasure on the matter.
Our kids are being told that this kind of product is, not only okay, it’s “exclusive.” But do you know what’s more exclusive? Their God-given eternal soul. We are in a fight for the soul of our nation. We need to fight hard. And we need to fight smart. We have to win.– South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, Twitter
We’ve turned George Floyd, a criminal drug addict, into an icon. We are promoting Satan shoes to wear on our feet. We’ve got Cardi B named as woman of the year. But we’re convinced it’s white supremacy that’s keeping black America behind. How stupid can we be?
– Candace Owens, Twitter