On St. Patrick's Day Nike released its "Black & Tan" skateboard sneaker, which was named, in part, after the drink made with Guinness and Harp beers. The beverage may be harmless enough, but Black & Tan is also the nickname for the Royal Irish Constabulary Reserve Force, a British paramilitary group that suppressed the Irish in their War of Independence.
Irish citizens were furious. In an article about the shoe, the Los Angeles Times described it as "akin, in some circles, to naming a sneaker the Taliban or the Nazi." Nike apologized.
JC Penney CEO Ron Johnson addressed his naysayers at Fortune Brainstorm Tech. The transformation of the embattled retailer has only just begun.
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