Not again. In a situation reminiscent of the craziness that broke out in December when Nike released its retro version of a popular Air Jordan basketball shoe, police were called in late Thursday to break up a crowd that had gathered at the Florida Mall near Orlando in anticipation of the release of a new limited edition, glow-in-the-dark Nike shoe.
More than 100 officers in riot gear were needed to disperse several hundred people who law enforcement officials said became unruly as they waited for the $220 Nike Galaxy Air Foamposite Ones to go on sale. There were no arrests or injuries reported. The launch of the shoes were timed to coincide with this weekend's NBA All-Star Game festivities in Orlando. The game is on Sunday night.
A similar scene played out at a Washington, D.C.-area mall early Friday where fans waited to get the coveted Nike Foamposite Galaxy shoes. Police in Hyattsville, Md., made one arrest, as the crowd there was estimated at over 100.
Early Friday, Foot Locker announced that it was canceling the shoe's release at certain malls and stores. "Our priority is the safety of the community," Foot Locker said in a statement.
But Gionvanni Mecado, a 14-year-old from Kissimmee, Florida, told the Orlando Sun-Sentinel he's not buying the cancellation drama.
"I don't even believe them," Mercado told the paper.
Nike has had problems with riotous crowds before. In December, Nike's retro Air Jordans release caused fights to break out at malls across the country. In Seattle, cops used pepper spray to subdue what they said were unruly sneaker-heads.
"Mobs are one thing," Stephen Douglas wrote on TheBigLead.com. "Sneaker mobs are another. Nike needs to start making enough sneakers for everyone and stop releasing them at midnight."
See video of the sneaker-triggered melee below:
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