PANAMA CITY — Nike won’t release a version of its Air Force 1 shoe meant to celebrate Puerto Rico, after an indigenous group in Panama noted one of its traditional designs was used.
A Nike statement Tuesday says that “we apologize for the inaccurate representation of the design origin for the Nike Air Force 1 ‘Puerto Rico’ 2019. As a result, this product will no longer be available.”
The Guna people in Panama have traditionally used the swirling, multicolored “Mola” design. They are one of Panama’s seven indigenous groups, and live mainly on the Caribbean coast.
The shoe was to be released in June.
The Gunas said in a statement that the company had not asked permission to use the design. Panamanian law recognizes indigenous groups’ rights to their intellectual property.
The Associated Press