CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — Nike has filed a lawsuit against the company MSCHF over rapper and singer Lil Nas X’s “Satan Shoes” which contain one drop of human blood in its sole.
Only 666 of the limited edition shoes released Monday were to be produced, and each pair was individually numbered. The price tag was $1,018
In a complaint, Nike alleges the Satan Shoes are Nike Air Max 97’s that “MSCHF has materially altered to prominently feature a satanic theme.” Nike also said it is not connected with the project in any way and they never approved of it.
Nike said the Satan Shoes could lead to confusion in the marketplace and noted purported calls for people to boycott the company over them.
“Nike files this lawsuit to maintain control of its brand, to protect its intellectual property, and to clear the confusion and dilution in the marketplace by setting the record straight—Nike has not and does not approve or authorize MSCHF’s customized Satan Shoes,” according to the complaint.
Just days after the controversial music video for his new single “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” went viral, rapper Lil Nas X stoked controversy again over the release of the shoes.
Lil Nas X, who rose to fame after his debut single “Old Town Road” became a global phenomenon, created the “Satan Shoes” in collaboration with the MSCHF clothing brand.
The shoes reportedly contain 66 cubic centimeters of red ink and one drop of human blood in its sole. Other features of the infernal footwear are a pentagram pendant over the laces and “Luke 10:18” written on the side. The Bible verse about Satan’s fall reads, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”
But for Satanists, many believe the shoes themselves are not a true depiction of their religious beliefs.
“Overall it has its shock appeal for a short time. Then nothing else really kind of follows it up, if we don’t have a coherent statement of the artist about the meaning,” said Lucien Greaves, co-founder of the Satanic Temple.
Greaves says although the shoes do have references to Satan, the music video and shoes themselves do not follow the standard laws of the Satanic Temple.
“For our part, we don’t venerate a Satan that is red-skinned and horned and has a pitchfork and tail and that kind of thing. But that’s very iconic imagery that can be used for artists’ raw material for anybody,” said Lucien Greaves.
The founder of the Satanic Living Magazine says he is a Satanist as well. He tried to get a pair of the shoes before they sold out. For his safety, Josh asked NewsNation not to reveal his last name. He says the shoes themselves could help promote open-mindedness.
“A lot of times opinions are lead by what the most popular ideologies are. In the past couple of centuries, it’s been primarily Christian opinions that have been guiding legislature and the ideologies of the way things are or the way other people behave,” said Josh.
Despite the lawsuit, Josh says artist should be treated with freedom of expression.
“I’ve seen in a lot of instances where people create custom shoes for an artist or for a certain type of thing… obviously it was not something bred and born in the Nike company, the corporation. But people are allowed to create anything they want to create and it’s just an art form,” said Josh.
Read the full complaint below.