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Nike on back foot over Black and Tan trainers.

NIKE has been forced to apologise after launching a new trainer for St Patrick's Day - called the Black and Tan.

The trendy $90 shoes are officially named the SB Dunk Low.

But the sportswear giant said the "beer-themed" trainers had been given the nickname because its colours were reminiscent of a pint of Guinness mixed with Harp lager - a popular drink in the US.

The move has prompted outrage from Irish Americans after the launch ahead of Saturday's celebrations. One critic added it was comparable to calling a shoe "al-Qaeda".

Adverts for the trainer read: "Tis the season for Irish beer and why not celebrate with Nike. The Black and Tan sneaker takes inspiration for the fine balancing act of a stout [Guinness] on top of a pale ale [Harp] in a pint glass."

Retail displays in stores across the US directly describe the shoes as "Black and Tans" although this is not the official name given by the shoe's manufacturer.

A Nike spokesman said: "This month Nike is scheduled to release a version of the Nike SB Dunk Low that has been unofficially named by some using a phrase that can be viewed as inappropriate and insensitive. We apologise. No offence was intended."

Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform president Ciaran Staunton said: "Is there no one at Nike able to Google Black and Tan?" The Black and Tans were World War One veterans recruited by the Royal Irish Constabulary as temporary constables.

They became infamous for their brutal treatment of civilians including women and children in revenge for IRA assassinations.

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CONTROVERSY ZNike's Black and Tan trainers have outraged Irish Americans
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 14, 2012
Words:273
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