Angela Rye Calls Out Adidas For “Predator” Ad: A Reach Or Racism?
Just yesterday, H&M apologized for a racially insensitive ad featuring a Black child model wearing a hoodie labeled: “Coolest Monkey In The Jungle.” It sparked outrage from social media users and celebrities like The Weeknd and Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, the former declaring on his Twitter page that he will no longer work with the retail giant.
Now, another racially insensitive ad is being called out. Political analyst Angela Rye posted an Adidas mall ad of Manchester United soccer star, Paul Pogba, 24, intensely staring into the camera with ominous shadows surrounding him with the caption: “Predator: Master Control.” Rye sees it as another attempt of a retailer getting it wrong – painting a Black body as a stereotype to sell shoes. What’s interesting is that there actually is no shoe in the ad, as Rye points out in her Instagram caption below, sparking her to question what the real point of this ad is:
And now @adidas…this is devastating. —>a lot of you are defending this ad by saying the soccer player pictured wears this line of cleats. Where’s the shoe? Do you understand that PREDATOR has a negative connotation particularly when we are talking about the perception of Black people in the world? This is irresponsible and NOT well thought out.
Some folks in her comments section agree with her, and others don’t. Some that agree say that yes, the word “predator” has a historically negative connotation for Black people, specifically Black men and that it should not be used to sell anything featuring a Black person, star or not. The others that don’t agree with her point out that although no shoes are featured in the ad, fans of the sport are aware that Pogba does wear them. And they point out that it makes sense for the ad to be captioned “Predator” because that is the name of the shoe.
UK’s The Sun reported in November that Pogba is contracted with Adidas to wear their version of a cleat called Predator18+. Mesut Ozil and Dele Alli, also soccer stars, are contracted to wear the same shoe. But I ask: Where are their ads? So, is Rye reaching or is this racism? And before you make up your mind, consider the latest campaign by Adidas India. The Drum reported that the shoe retailer launched 3D billboard ads of Pogba’s face shortly before the new year. They’re a little scary, to say the least. You can see them here.