Adidas bans the word ‘gay’ from customisable trainers

Joseph McCormick February 11, 2014
bookmarking iconSAVE FOR LATER

One day after announcing Olympic bronze medal-winning diver Tom Daley as the face of a new campaign, it has emerged that Adidas blocks the word “gay” from its customisable trainers bought online.

The British Olympic diving star Tom Daley was yesterday announced as the new face of a new Adidas range of “fresh and stylish” clothes aimed at a young market. Daley recently announced that he has been in a relationship with a man since Spring 2013.

Adidas allows users to customise various of its trainer models before purchasing, using an online system which filters certain words.

As well as the word “gay”, the online system for customising trainers also bans the words “lesbian”, “bisexual”, “trans”, and “homophobia”, as well as actual offensive words such as “faggot”.


The word “straight” is allowed.

PinkNews reader Gary Lloyd wrote to the online shop team querying why the word “gay” would be blocked.

In response, customer services said: “We are very sorry to inform you that unfortunately the word gay is a still filtered word. We, in no way want  for you to feel mistreated or offended by this.

“Our sincere apologies for the arisen inconvenience.”

Mr Lloyd said: “When I received their reply I was shocked and so angry. I could not believe that a company like Adidas could not even see how homophobic that response might seem to me. I took offence and they did not care.”

Nike iD, an equivalent service offered by Nike allows users to write the words “gay” and “lesbian”, but blocks words such as “faggot”. NB The word “bisexual” is blocked by Nike iD, because there is a six-character limit on words for Nike iD.


When approached and asked why such words would be blocked, Adidas did not immediately return a request for comment.

Nike has not yet responded to a call for statement.

Two weeks ago, faced with a similar controversy, Coca-Cola pulled the plug on a ‘virtual coke’ website after a row erupted over the site filtering the word “gay”.

More: adidas, adidas mi, bisexual, coca cola, LGBT, neo, tom daley, Trans, Transgender, word gay

Click to comment

Swipe sideways to view more posts!


Loading ...