Enrichment Arts & Culture

Nike files lawsuit over Lil Nas X ‘Satan shoes’, which contain human blood

Story at a glance

  • Lil Nas X collaborated with streetwear brand MSCHF to produce a customized pair of Nike Air Max 97 shoes called “Satan Shoes.”
  • The announcement, which was made on Palm Sunday, prompted backlash, especially from religious conservatives.
  • Now Nike is suing MSCHF for trademark infringement over the shoes.

On the first day of the Holy Week leading up to Easter, Lil Nas X dropped a pair of bloody “Satan shoes” and, well, not everyone was amused. 

Nike filed a lawsuit for trademark infringement against the company producing the customized Nike Air Max 97 shoes, saying the product was “likely to cause confusion and dilution, and create an erroneous association between MSCHF’s products and Nike.”

“This was done without Nike’s approval or authorization, and Nike is in no way connected with this project,” the company said in the lawsuit. 


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All but one pair of the 666 available sneakers sold out in less than a minute after the collaboration with streetwear brand MSCHF, which most recently made headlines for its viral “Jesus Shoe” (also a pair of customized Nike Air Max 97s, to which the company did not object). The “Satan Shoe,” which features an Air unit that’s filled with 60cc of ink and one drop of real human blood, quickly became the subject of backlash and controversy online and on television, even reaching South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R).  

The rapper fired back at critics on social media, telling Noem, “ur a whole governor and u on here tweeting about some damn shoes. do ur job!”

“there is a mass shooting every week that our government does nothing to stop. me sliding down a cgi pole isn’t what’s destroying society,” Lil Nas X wrote on Twitter in response to the backlash, which he said was “putting an emotional toll on me,” despite his attempts to “cover it with humor.”

While the artist, whose full name is Montero Lamar Hill, wasn’t named in the lawsuit, he responded on Twitter with a couple of memes. 


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On YouTube, Hill posted a satirical apology video as a promotional video for a remix of his latest single, “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” including a scene from the official music video where he dances on the devil’s lap.  

 

Online, he pushed back against claims that the shoe was blasphemous and religion itself, including the belief that being an LGBTQ+ person is a sin. 

“i spent my entire teenage years hating myself because of the shit y’all preached would happen to me because i was gay. so i hope u are mad, stay mad, feel the same anger you teach us to have towards ourselves,” said Lil Nas X.


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