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Nike sues over rapper Lil Nas X's 'Satan shoes'

by Chantalle Edmunds

Nike is suing a streetwear company over the production of a limited-edition line of "Satan Shoes" containing a drop of human blood in the sole.

The sneakers, produced by Brooklyn company MSCHF, in collaboration with rapper Lil Nas X, are decorated with a pentagram and a reference to the bible verse Luke 10:18: "He replied, 'I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.'"

Six hundred and sixty-six pairs of the custom Nike Air Max 97s were launched by brand MSCHF, all quickly sold out.

A bronze pentagram pendant adorns the black and red shoes, while stamped in red near the sole is "Luke 10:18." They retailed at $1,018, again a reference to the verse. 

Nike said in a filing with the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York that it does not approve or authorise the customised Satan Shoes and claimed trademark infringement.

"MSCHF and its unauthorised Satan Shoes are likely to cause confusion and dilution and create an erroneous association between MSCHF's products and Nike," the company said in the lawsuit.

"In fact, there is already evidence of significant confusion and dilution occurring in the marketplace, including calls to boycott Nike in response to the launch of MSCHF's Satan Shoes, based on the mistaken belief that Nike has authorised or approved this product," the filing stated.

The release of the shoes coincides with Lil Nas X's latest single Montero (Call Me By Your Name). In the video for the track, the rapper is seduced out of what appears to be the Garden of Eden, wearing a pair of the sneakers, before falling into hell where he dances for the devil. 

The release of the shoes attracted criticism on social media with Franklin Graham stating: "The morals in this country have fallen so fast." 

Donald Trump's pastor Mark Burns said on Twitter, the shoe "is a reason why we Christians must be prayed up ready to battle in the spirit with the Voice of the Holy Spirit" and called the sneakers "evil" and "heresy." South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem called for Lil Nas X to be cancelled.

Lil Nas X has not yet given an official statement but tweeted a series of memes regarding the lawsuit.

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