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. MeenJoeG

    That's just sad.

    February 24, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Foreverwar

    Those must be some really good shoes.

    February 24, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Real

      I think Hellen Keller could design a better, more attractive shoe.

      February 24, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Lizzie

    Wow – that almost never happens when they release a new pair of pumps.

    February 24, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Harpman

    A sad commentary on our society and our priorities.

    February 24, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Maryann - Orlando FL

    The police all over this country are militarized now. Wait til this year's Black Friday. Shoppers getting kettled, pepper sprayed, beaten and arrested. This is what a police state looks like.

    February 24, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • wobbles

      like a bunch of blacks rioting over some shoes? Msut have missed that in every other police state in the world.

      February 24, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Maryann - Orlando FL

    BTW – there was no 'riot'. The MSM is sensationalizing again. Just because the cops were in 'riot gear' doesn't mean there was an actual riot.

    February 24, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. DaRealist

    There was No riot...police presense in riot geer IS the problem.

    February 24, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  8. a fine example

    and this is why our country is in trouble.

    you cant get people to stand in line to protect their freedoms from being eroded by the US government

    but you can get people to brawl over over priced shoes made by children in China sweatshops

    Perhaps we all deserve fascism because were too stupid for freedom

    February 24, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  9. DaRealist

    which is it white folk??? would you rather these people go in crouds to get ugly shoes, or would you rather see these people go to the gun shop, or show in crouds?? hmmmm?

    February 24, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • wobbles

      i'd rather they grew up and got jobs and acted like human beings. Too much to ask?

      February 24, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • DaRealist

      @wobbles...look who's talking...go figure..

      February 24, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  10. FedUp2

    Thought things were so bad in this country, nobody can afford food and shelter. The economy is supposedly in a total shambles and we are all doomed because of our corrupt president and ever growing government. With no jobs and no hope, how can it be thousands line up and riot at the hint of over-priced designer shoes. The same with occupy participants and their iPhones and such. If things are really so bad in this country, how can people afford stuff like that?

    February 24, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  11. fromNJ

    Geez, you'd think someone burned a koran.

    February 24, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  12. J

    Quick question,

    What's up with all this blantant stereotyping? And just asinine racism? There are multiple races who are/were in those lines.

    You individuals who hide behind screen names have a false sense of bravery when no one knows who you are, but I bet my bottom buck NONE of you would have the gusto to say even a fraction of the ignorant statements in person to a Afro-AMERICAN that you say here.

    A group of ignorant & misdirected blacks does NOT speak for the entire black population of America.

    February 24, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thatguy371

      So, "J", what's your real name?

      February 24, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • wobbles

      that group of ignorant blacks speaks for black america when other blacks say nothing excpet to defend them from a knee-jerk reaction based solely on sharing the same color of skin. You let them be your voice because you see no problem with what they do, and say nothing.

      February 24, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  13. John K

    Oh yea Maryann, blame this on the police. If those thugs were let into the store, where I was told they only had 12 pairs to sell, what do you think would have happened to the employees.

    February 24, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maryann - Orlando FL

      No one was rioting. Why do you fall for anything the MSM tells you without questioning it? Really the store was at fault for advertising this sale, and then cancelling it. Then 'riot police' (complete overreaction) are called out at taxpayer expense, for no reason.

      Wake UP!

      February 24, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Thatguy371

    Good to see people have their priorities in order. Wonder how many welfare $$ are going to buy a pair of glow in the dark sneakers?

    February 24, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. soulcatcher

    Just do it!

    February 24, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
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