Adidas designed its JS Roundhouse Mid to be, in the company's words, a sneaker "so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles." Instead, the "shackle shoe" kicked up controversy.
On June 19 -- the same day Adidas advertised the shoe on Facebook -- civil rights groups cried foul. "The attempt to commercialize and make popular more than 200 years of human degradation, where blacks were considered three-fifths human by our Constitution, is offensive, appalling and insensitive," said Rev. Jesse Jackson in a statement to the Huffington Post. Later that day, Adidas pulled the ad and never released the shoe.
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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