Location:Home > sneakers > my stuff was just artwork

my stuff was just artwork

Time:2018-04-16 11:01Shoes websites Click:

shoes their Into Political athletes

The white Obama "O" logo pops on the black sneaker. Below, written in all caps is "MBK Alliance," for the former president's My Brother's Keeper initiative. And on the midsole, the "SC" logo for Steph Curry's shoe line. It's an all-star collaboration between one of the biggest brands in politics and one of the biggest brand in signature sneakers, a one-of-one, worn by Curry once, at Washington's Capital One Arena in February. Curry put them up for a charity campaign this week, with fans able to donate $10 for a chance to win them.

Scroll for more content...

The night Curry wore his custom Obama Curry 4s, the Golden State Warriors beat the Wizards 109-101. Earlier in their visit to D.C., the Warriors had bucked the traditional White House visit made by defending NBA champs, visiting the the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture with a group of students instead. Curry had said months earlier that he didn't want to go. He said so, in fact, the same day President Trump, while speaking at a campaign rally in Huntsville, Alabama, used the term "son of a bitch" to refer to athletes who knelt during the National Anthem and said athletes should be fired for kneeling. The following day, about 20 minutes after Fox News aired a segment on Curry's comments, Trump responded to it, tweeting that Curry's invite was rescinded.

So Curry's shoes felt like an exclamation mark on the trip. They were a show of support for the previous president and his work, but also a show of contempt the current one, and in the heart of his adopted presidential hometown no less. And they were part of an emerging trend.

As politics has collided with professional sports during Trump's time in office, athletes have turned to fashion to send a message. Cleats and sneakers have become a canvas of political and social expression for some of today's biggest and most outspoken sports stars -- and a way to make a statement while standing.

Customized causes

Marcus Rivero -- who goes by @solesbysir on Instagram -- paints shoes for athletes. He started doing them for members of the NFL's Miami Dolphins, and by now he's made custom-painted shoes for at least one player on every team in the NFL, as well as for athletes in the NBA and MLB, soccer players overseas, and boxers.

"When I first started doing this custom painting stuff, it was just changes blue to yellow, changes purple to black, and then it started becoming more messages," he told CNN's COVER/LINE. "Then they started to get deeper meanings."

In 2014, the Washington Redskins' DeSean Jackson, a longtime client for Rivero, had a specific request. He wanted "something cool" on his cleat, Rivero recalled him saying, but he wanted something else too. A New York grand jury had just decided to not indict a police officer in the death of Eric Garner and Jackson wanted his cleats to read "I can't breathe," the words Garner could be heard struggling to say in a video as the officer held him in a chokehold.

"It was my first political shoe," Rivero said. "I really wasn't trying to take a stand for anything, my stuff was just artwork, and when he told me that, I said, 'OK, I'll come up with something.'"

The result was a snakeskin pattern in Washington's colors, burgundy and gold, with the words written across the front, fading out at the end.

"That went pretty viral pretty fast," Rivero said.

While most of the shoes he paints are apolitical, he's begun to receive more requests for paint jobs related to news events. Following the 2016 Dallas shooting, he painted another pair for Jackson, this time, sky blue covered in bright yellow caution tape, as a statement against violence. After the Las Vegas shooting in October, the Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper wore "Pray for Las Vegas" cleats with various images from the Strip.

For week 13 of the most recent NFL season, the league encouraged players to support charities through its My Cause, My Cleats initiative. It's Rivero's biggest week of the year, and he starts working on cleats far in advance to fulfill all his client's requests. Tennessee Titans' Rishard Matthews selected Know Your Rights, the charity of his college friend Colin Kaepernick, and Rivero painted Kaepernick's name and an image of him kneeling with his hair styled into a fist.

"That one probably got the most political attention, and it was very controversial," Rivero said. Matthews didn't end up playing that week, due a hamstring injury. Still, "the shoe had made its mark even before the game started," he said.

An advocating addition to a uniform

Athletes are restricted in what they can wear on the court or field. But their shoes can be an exception.

"The only way that most guys in the league can get away with expressing themselves is their footwear," said Rachel Johnson, a stylist who's worked with some of the NBA's biggest stars, including LeBron James, Chris Paul and Amar'e Stoudemire. Sneakers, she said, are, "the smartest and most innovative way that they can express themselves without getting fined."

Copyright infringement? Click Here!