All Nike wanted to do with their latest Air Force 1 shoe release was to honor its heritage. After all, it’s same and even its signature winged swoop logo had been modeled after the Greek goddess of victory, Nike.
Designers did a great job at the Oregon-based company, adding winged tongues to symbolize the Greek goddess’ wings. They even added an image of the famous statue of Nike (which is in the Louvre, in France) on the sole of the shoe.
But here’s where things went south. Way south.
On the back heel, designers wanted to spell the word “Nike” in Greek. Opting for a visual appearance versus what the actual spelling was, they ended up with a word that sounds like “PIKS” instead of “Nee-kee,” as it should sound in the original Greek.
The company faced ridicule and scorn on Twitter as various commentators mused and joked and poked fun at the shoe giant’s glaring error.
But it wasn’t all fun and games to some, who are taking the company to task over what they call “cultural appropriation” and demanding that the Nike recall the sneakers.
A petition was even started by Angie Xidias, who said in the post that “We are asking Nike to preserve and respect the Greek culture and history by accurately using the Greek alphabet when writing and referring to the Goddess NIKE.”
To be fair, this certainly wasn’t the first time Greek letters were incorrectly used to create a “Greek” look to something.
Hollywood has been guilty on a few occasions– including Nia Vardalos’ hit film My Big Fat Greek Wedding and the long-running ABC show GREEK. People didn’t mind that the Greek letter “sigma” was used to misrepresent an English letter “e”.
It’s even used in, of all things, a Greek yogurt company’s brand.
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