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. Jose Otero

    If they paid for them with welfare money, drug money, income tax money, if their mamma sold her stank ass to buy them Who cares!!!! I would not pay for them, more power to them! But please people it's not that serious to kill yourself for them!! Relax!!

    February 24, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Joy in Sacramento

    Bill Nike for the extra security required. Maybe then they'll reconsider how they market their stuff, so it doesnt cause riots.

    February 24, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • HiSpeedFan

      So, it's NIKE's fault? Geez.

      February 24, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Kevin O.

    Thus why I wear Prada.

    February 24, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Brad

    Wow – riots over shoes.What morons......

    February 24, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  5. TisJustMe

    Anyone who would pay $220 for a pair of sneakers has the IQ of a houseplant.

    February 24, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ohplease

    Looking for the reason the economy is in deplorable condition? Look no further! People complaining about no work, people complaining about housing and mortgages, people wanting to "share the wealth" that other people earned, all while paying more than 200 dollars for imported sneakers... And of course rioting to boot... Sickies!!!

    February 24, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. lowell

    Those are the UGLIEST shoes I have even seen, and I wouldn't be seen dead in them

    February 24, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. james

    looks like another Popeye's opened in Harlem

    February 24, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  9. HiSpeedFan

    From the jungle to the mall. This culture is hopeless. You can bet neither Jesse nor Al will have anything to say about it.

    February 24, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. TisJustMe

    Why all the racist comments? Don't you realize that white nouveau riche yuppies are just as dumb as anyone else when it comes to paying $100-$200 for a pair of $20 shoes? Stupid, unthinking consumer behavior knows no racial boundaries.

    February 24, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve harnack

      Because racists are drawn to articles like this exactly the same way that flies flock to excrement.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      but the prada people aren't the ones rioting... are they? No riots at the Apple store... nope... hmm

      February 24, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • HiSpeedFan

      Like the white gangs at the Mall of America last December. Oh, wait. Those were black thugs. And then the riot of gangs of white thugs at that mall in Georgia when the new Nike's went on sale. Oh, wait. Those were black thugs, too! There's just something terribly wrong with the black culture in America.

      February 24, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • WOW!

      The difference is those "white nouveau riche yuppies" can afford expensive things and still feed their families.

      February 24, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  11. El Diablo

    You mean artificially created scarcity has negative consequences? NO WAY!

    February 24, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. rmsbl4

    Too many posts to read but why not have mailorder only.Would stop al the brawling and Nike would know how many more to order from China or Viet Nam.

    February 24, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Name*Rob


    February 24, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  14. fineart

    This is simply one of the many signs we will receive before the Earth as we know it, ends. When our young people worship things that don't matter, most hope is lost but not all. It's up to you to choose the saving path. Peace be with you.

    February 24, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • M Houston

      Whatevah...Boycott NIke!!!

      February 24, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    I can buy 3 good pair of shoes for 1/2 of what you spent on 1 pair of Nikes, good grief.

    February 24, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
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