Nike under pressure to recall Air Max 720 for logo resembling 'Allah' in Arabic
Nike is under pressure by petitioners to recall its soon-to-be-launched Air Max 720. Thousands have taken to Change.org to petition the sportswear giant to recall its new product as the “AIR MAX” branding on the outsole supposedly resembles the word “Allah” in Arabic script.
A Change.org petition has condemned the brand’s use of a font with “Air Max” on the sole, saying that it’s offensive to some Muslims and the word “Allah” should not be allowed on a shoe, particularly on the bottom.
Showing the sole of one's shoe has long been an insult in Arab culture and is considered disrespectful.
The petition said: "We urge Nike to recall this blasphemous and offensive shoe and all products with the design logo resembling the word Allah from worldwide sales immediately."
In a statement, Nike said: “Nike respects all religions and we take concerns of this nature seriously. The AIR MAX logo was designed to be a stylised representation of Nike’s AIR MAX trademark. It is intended to reflect the AIR MAX brand only. Any other perceived meaning or representation is unintentional.”
This is not the first time Nike has been embroiled in controversy. In 1997, Nike recalled 38,000 pairs of sneakers worldwide over a flame-like logo which some believed resembled the word Allah. In 1995, it removed a billboard near the University of Southern California that had an image a basketball player alongside the words, “They called him Allah.”