February 24th, 2012
12:17 PM ET

Disturbances prompt cancellations of some Nike releases

[Updated at 4:13 p.m. ET] Concerns about disturbances among large crowds waiting to buy special-edition Nike shoes tied to this weekend’s NBA All-Star Game prompted stores in several states to cancel the releases, media reports say.

Of particular interest among many would-be shoppers, according to the reports, was the $220 Nike Foamposite One Galaxy, a space-themed, glow-in-the dark shoe that nods to the space legacy of Florida, where this weekend’s game is happening in Orlando.

In Orlando on Thursday night, a Foot Locker House of Hoops store at Florida Mall cancelled a special 11 p.m. opening after police were called to handle a crowd of about 1,200 people, CNN affiliates Bay News 9 and WFTV reported.

The crowd outside the mall was moved across the street before the late-night opening. But at one point, people rushed toward the store, which was to sell the Foamposite One and other All-Star-related releases, the affiliates reported.

“People tried running over the cops. People tried just getting into that line,” witness Youssef Abounouadar told WFTV. “Everyone ran to the door, and it started getting really hectic.”

Law enforcement officers in riot gear pushed back the crowd, the store did not open Thursday night, and the release of the Foamposite One there Friday was canceled, the affiliates reported. No injuries or arrests were reported.

A message on a Foot Locker website said the company was canceling All-Star weekend shoe releases at seven malls in four states Friday because of unspecified "safety concerns." Besides the one at Orlando’s Florida Mall, the cancellations included stores in Tampa and Pembroke Pines, Florida; Morrow, Georgia; Hyattsville, Maryland; and Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina.

The release also was cancelled at a store in the Mall of Louisiana in Baton Rouge on Friday morning, CNN affiliate WAFB reported. A witness told WAFB that authorities sent home a crowd of more than 100 people because the would-be shoppers wouldn't line up in an orderly fashion.

A call to Foot Locker's corporate offices wasn't immediately returned.

In an e-mailed response to a call seeking information about the cancellations, Nike said that it encouraged "anyone wishing to purchase our product to do so in a respectful and safe manner" and that "consumer safety and security is of paramount importance."

One of the cancellations was at Tampa’s University Mall, where police called off a midnight release because of concerns about a crowd of 800 to 1,000 people that gathered there Thursday night, CNN affiliate WTSP reported.

Kingsley Boateng, a witness, told WTSP that the release was canceled after people “tried to bum rush the door.”

At the Hyattsville, Maryland, mall, one person was arrested on suspicion of disorderly conduct after a large crowd gathered there, CNN affiliate WUSA reported Friday morning.

At the Southlake Mall in Morrow, Georgia, the Foot Locker House of Hoops store will be closed Friday because of safety concerns surrounding the shoe releases, a mall representative told CNN.

The Foamposite One was one of 17 types of shoes that Foot Locker House of Hoops stores were releasing over the weekend.

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Filed under: Basketball • Florida • Georgia • Maryland • NBA • North Carolina • Sports
soundoff (291 Responses)
  1. Vader

    paul got it right... They're just shoes, folks.

    February 24, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  2. quagmire

    I would see Gingrich in line for a pair of those shoes

    February 24, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • PT

      nope, just obama supporters

      February 24, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Synapse

    When I managed an Electronics store in the 80's, I personally had to break up fightS between lady-moms over copies of the ZENDA game. People get weird over the strangest things.
    I suppose we could be happy that it's a sign that the economy may be coming around.

    February 24, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Synapse

      It was ZeLda... and... I'd bet that [if it wasn't so long ago] the ladies fighting were the MOMs of some of the trolls posting here.
      No place is appropriate for thinly veiled racist posts.

      February 24, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Potrzebie

    People are rioting because they want to be first in line to pay $220 for a pair of glow-in-the-dark sneakers? We are doomed as a species.

    February 24, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  5. OccupiersDontHaveJobs

    Ethnicity at its best.

    February 24, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Synapse

      Excuse me, ODHJ... your Fox News is showing- just thought you'd like to know.

      February 24, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Church of Suicidal

      Comment below directed at you, redneck.

      February 24, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • wobbles

      do any of you dispute that is a black crowd?

      February 24, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. longtooth

    Sad story, and a sad string of comments.

    February 24, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bryan

    Sometimes we put the highest values on the dumbest stuff. $220 for a pair of dumb shoes that probably cost the company $2 to make; and that includes the salary for the little 9 year old Vietnamese kid who spends 16 hours a day with one bathroom break putting them together for 17 cents a week.

    February 24, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Church of Suicidal

    I think your hood is on too tight, you racist a$$.

    February 24, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  9. wobbles

    Look at those pictures. Look who they all seem to be. Now this is the black america we've all come to know in real life. Not the smiley happy people on tv or the movies, and not the poor downtrodden underdogs the media wants us to think they are. No, this is the violent, animalistic, merialistic disgrace we have to live next to. I wonder what MLK would say with how this generation has turned his dream into a nightmare. Where are Al sharpton and Jesse Jackson to chime in with their two cents or to speak about the outrageous behavior? Not a peep. What a bunch of self serving hypocritical race baiting opportunists. Head of the pack on black issues, but nowhere to be found when blacks disgrace their entire race.

    February 24, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  10. I am King

    Riot? What a bunch of lies! All I saw were nice folks laughing & running away from a bunch of crazy police wanna be cops. Long live Nike!

    February 24, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  11. matrix09

    People rioting to pay 220.00 for a pair of shoes. I never cease to be amazed at the outright stupidity of the American public.

    February 24, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  12. banasy©

    Of course, this has to turn into a political/race thing.
    Jesus Gos, grow the hell up!

    February 24, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • wobbles

      how many white people do you see in that crowd? Are we supposed to pretend it isn't a black mob, for fear of being called racist? Wake up. Reality is reality and you can call a duck a duck. You don't have to sacrifice reality to fit in.

      February 24, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      I fail to see how making this into an epic black/obama bashfest removes me from reality.

      February 24, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ...

    it's not the shoes.

    February 24, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  14. dumbanddummber

    online buying only........DOHHHHHH what a concept.

    February 24, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Feast of Beast

      That's exactly what it's going to have to be. "If you kids can't play nice, we'll take your toys away...."

      February 24, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steven Swiller

      \Notice how it is 90% brown people ruining it?

      February 24, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jorge

    Unbelievable, you have to be a textbook jack@$$ to risk getting trampled or busted just to buy a pair of gimmick shoes that were slapped together in some third-world sweatshop, for $220. Then again, these are strange days...

    February 24, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
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