(AllHipHop News) Hip Hop artist Robert "Meek Mill" Williams' criminal justice reform advocacy and Olympian Tommie Smith’s universal equality activism have inspired a new basketball shoe. PUMA announced the Clyde Court #REFORM sneaker.
“For more than 50 years, we at PUMA have been big believers in the power that sport has to unite people and push culture forward in a positive way,” said Adam Petrick, PUMA Global Director of Brand and Marketing. “To that end, we are very happy to partner with and support Meek and the REFORM Alliance in the pursuit of reforming the criminal justice system.”
Meek partnered with Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin, Roc Nation founder/PUMA Basketball Creative Director Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Brooklyn Nets co-owner Clara Wu Tsai, Third Point LLC CEO Daniel S. Loeb, Galaxy Digital CEO Michael E. Novogratz, and Vista Equity Partners CEO Robert F. Smith to create REFORM Alliance.
“We’re excited to team up with PUMA in our fight to reform the American criminal justice system,” stated Rubin, REFORM Alliance co-chairman along with Meek. “They’ve been long-time advocates for fairness and equality, so it only made sense to expand our alliance with a partner like PUMA that shares our ambition and commitment to improving the probation and parole system.”
Meek debuted the Clyde Court #REFORM on Wednesday during the formal launch of the REFORM Alliance. PUMA will contribute 100% of net proceeds from sales of the shoes to the nonprofit organization.
Several PUMA NBA athletes, such as DeMarcus Cousins and DeAndre Ayton, will support the movement by wearing the Clyde Court #REFORM sneakers. Additionally, PUMA will donate $5,000 in the name of each player and in recognition of Tommie Smith’s action for change.
“We are particularly proud of the Clyde Court #REFORM, as it not only takes inspiration from the past but hopefully encourages a new generation of individuals to fight for universal equality,” added Petrick.
The color and details on the Clyde Court #REFORM sneaker mean:
- The black represents the U.S. prison system where many people face unjust sentences that do not fit the crimes for which they have been convicted.
- The red represents the blood and sacrifice of those who have courageously given so much fighting oppression and injustices over the last 60-plus years.
- The gold represents the victories that we will achieve together when organizations and individuals come together to work for much needed reform.
- The quote on the heel counter is a direct quote of long-standing PUMA Ambassador Tommie Smith – “We had to be seen because we could not be heard.” This represents the obligation we feel to take a stand and visibly work toward reforming the criminal justice system and other institutions that have contributed to an environment of inequality.
- The #REFORM logo on the outsole and the tongue shows, with strength and power, the message that we want to clearly convey - that it is time for reform, and that we will continue to work toward our objective of universal equality.