Nike Files Federal Lawsuit Over Rapper's Viral 'Satan Shoes'
MSCHF made 666 Air Max 97 sneakers with devil imagery and filled them with human blood
Sportswear giant Nike has filed a federal lawsuit against the maker of rapper Lil Nas X's "Satan Shoes" over copyright infringement.
The 666 Air Max 97 sneakers were produced in collaboration with Lil Nas X by MSCHF who added devil imagery and filled them with a drop of human blood.
On Monday, the company, MSCHF Product Studio Inc. of Brooklyn, New York, released 666 pairs of the shoes which quickly sold out.
In the Bible, 666 is considered the "mark of the beast."
The sneakers cost $1,018 per pair and are decorated with a pentagram pendant and a reference to the Bible verse about Satan's fall from heaven: Luke 10:18.
They also reportedly contain a drop of human blood in the sole, which MSCHF co-founder Daniel Greenberg said was provided by himself and some co-workers, industry publication Complex reported.
The lawsuit filed in federal court in the Eastern District of New York claims the shoes were "done without Nike's approval or authorization, and Nike is in no way connected with this project."
"We do not have a relationship with Little Nas X or MSCHF," the company said in a statement.
"Nike did not design or release these shoes and we do not endorse them."
The lawsuit notes social media criticism of Nike as a result of the shoes, including one social media post saying, "Won't buy Nike again."
These #SatanShoes by #Nike & #LilNasX with 666 and a drop of human blood in the sole is a reason why we Christians must be prayed up ready to battle in the spirit with the Voice of the Holy Spirit. This is evil & heresy and I pray that Christians rise up against this. pic.twitter.com/u7CK3NCIy7— Pastor Mark Burns (@pastormarkburns) March 27, 2021
Nike asked a federal judge to order the destruction of the shoes and award the sports retailer any profits earned by MSCHF from the sales.
The sportswear company also seeks punitive damages.
In December, Nike settled a trademark infringement lawsuit against Warren Lotas and has increasingly pursued legal action against companies making knockoff versions of its shoes, according to Hypebeast.
Lil Nas X, best known for his song "Old Town Road," appeared in a video about the shoes, saying it is a "very fun collaboration" with MSCHF.
"The shoe looks amazing," the rapper said.
"Some people are going to be mad or whatever," he added, noting the Satanic theme is meant as a response to people who demonize him.
"I'll be that and I'm going to make the best of it."
The shoes made headlines throughout the weekend, leading up to Monday's release.
MSCHF previously released a pair of modified Nike Air Max 97s called the "Jesus Shoes," which contained what was described as holy water in the sole drawn from the River Jordan, NBC News reported.
The release of the Satan Shoes coincides with Lil Nas X's latest single, "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)," and its accompanying music video.
In the video, Lil Nas X is seduced out of what appears to be the Garden of Eden, falls into hell, and gives the devil a lap dance.
As of Sunday, the video had been viewed more than 29 million times since its release Friday.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem led conservative voices damning the rapper for his risque and irreverent religious theme in the run-up to Easter.
"Our kids are being told that this kind of product is, not only okay, it's 'exclusive'," Noem tweeted.
"But do you know what's more exclusive?
"Their God-given eternal soul."
The rapper responded with his own tweet: "I spent my entire teenage years hating myself because of the s*** y'all preached would happen to me because i was gay.
"so i hope u are mad, stay mad, feel the same anger you teach us to have towards ourselves."
Following the news of the Nike lawsuit, the rapper posted a tweet Monday showing a clip of a cartoon character panhandling in a cardboard box with a note saying, "me after the nike lawsuit."