Fights Break Out at Shoe Stores Across the Country as Fans Battle to Get Their Hands on Latest Air Jordan 11 Gamma Blue Sneakers
Alex Greig, Daily Mail (London), December 22, 2013
Chaos followed the release of Nike’s Air Jordan 11 Gamma Blue sneaker on Saturday morning as fights broke out in stores across the country between customers keen to get their hands on a pair.
Each year, the highly anticipated release of a new version of limited edition Air Jordans is released and each year, a spate of robberies, assaults, riots and even deaths occur.
This year, videos and photographs from around the country depict frenzied crowds fighting in queues outside sports stores and inside shops.
One video that has surfaced shows a fight inside a Weberstown Mall shoe store in California which appears depict various separate skirmishes over the sought-after shoes.
One shirtless boy is knocked the ground and repeatedly punched while elsewhere in the store another is tackled.
It is unclear whether the young men are fighting over the last pair of shoes, or why one of them is not wearing a shirt. According to Fox 40, police responded to the store but the crowd had dispersed and no arrests were made.
In Dallas, police were called to the Southwest Center Mall after a fight broke out in the queue for the shoes.
People had begun lining up to purchase the sneakers overnight in anticipation of the shoe’s release on Saturday morning.
According to Fox Dallas, a group arrived around 6am and tried to cut to the front of the line.
No one was injured in the brawl but police remained at the store for the opening to ensure no further sneaker-related rage occurred.
In New York, shoppers in the Bronx spoke of fights, ripped clothing and police presence as shoppers, many parents trying to secure a pair of shoes for their children, waited outside Foot Locker.
A shot of the scene posted to Instagram shows a huge crowd watching as a group of girls fought before the store opened.
One shopper explained that the street cred of wearing a pair of Air Jordans made the ordeal worth it.
‘I mean, technically it’s not. But for bragging rights, it is. It is, it’s worth it for bragging rights, it is,’ she told News 12, after she explained that she’d been waiting for 12 hours to get her hands on a pair.
Last week in Ohio shoppers managed to pull a door entirely off its hinges while they piled into the Champs Sports shop at Eastland Mall.
The shoes were not even on sale until Saturday but the store was handing out vouchers that would enable shoppers to buy the shoes on Saturday.
Officers were also called to disperse an ‘unruly’ crowd in Florida on Friday night after a sports store manager decided not to sell the sneakers due to the size of the crowd and the limited number of sneakers the store had.
The shoes retail for $185. A new, limited edition version of Air Jordans are released each year, and each year similar violence and frustration erupts.
In 2012, Joshua Woods, 22, was killed in Houston, Texas shortly after buying a pair of newly-released Air Jordans by four men who followed him from the mall.
His mother, Dazie Williams, has launched a campaign called Life Over Fashion which aims to change the way Nike distributes its sought-after sneakers.
‘Nike nor Michael Jordan didn’t pull the trigger that killed my son, but with great power comes great responsibility. It’s product liability. If your name is on a product, you have to stand up. The first person that got killed [for Jordans] was in 1989, and here we are in 2013,’ she said.
[Editor’s Note: This webpage has more videos of fights over the new shoes.]