Brazilian soccer sensation and international fútbol star, Neymar-no-last-name-Junior (his full name is actually Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior) went sneaker shopping with Complex for their celebrity series hosted by Joe La Puma. Previous guests on the show have included J. Balvin, Juelz Santana, Fat Joe and DJ Khaled.
In this episode of “Sneaker Shopping,” Neymar made it clear there was no way for him to be a “sneakerhead” when he was growing up. He reveals he was poor and could only afford a single pair as a kid. He played in that pair until they got holes in them. They were Nike Air Jordans.
Little did Neymar know that years later, he’d be wearing his very own signature Air Jordan shoe.
Mental health and wellness is crucial in everyday life, whether you are an athlete or not. It is even more crucial to have someone to talk to when you are feeling those lows. Nike and their athletes have partnered with Crisis Text Line to help expand access to critical mental health and wellness resources.
Nike and Crisis Text Line want to help athletes access mental health and wellness resources.
According to Athletes for Hope, an estimated 46.6 million people in the U.S. are living with a mental health condition. That is roughly 1 in every 5 adults who will face a mental health challenge in their lifetime. There are a lot of ways that people manage their symptoms, including physical activity, but that doesn’t mean that athletes are immune to mental health struggles.
Thirty-three percent of young adults including college athletes face mental health crises. However, among college athletes, the study states that about 10 percent seek help. Meanwhile 35 percent of professional athletes face a mental health crisis.
Nike and their athletes want to change the conversation around mental health and wellness.
“Nike’s really committed to helping all athletes whether they’re elite athletes or everyday athletes,” Vanessa Garcia-Brito, the vice president of North America Communications, says. “Not everyone is comfortable talking about that and not everyone knows how to get support. Not everyone has access to it either. Nike’s really hoping to change that.”
That is why Nike teamed up with Crisis Text Line and included their athletes into the conversation. Not only does Nike want people to have access to the necessary resources, the athletics company hopes to combat the stigma around people seeking mental health help.
Laurie Hernandez is one of the athletes working with Nike to destigmatize talking about mental health.
Garcia-Brito is enthusiastic about the partnership and what Hernandez, Hayden Hurst, and Scout Bassett offer in bring involved. The athletes are using their own mental health crises to relate to people seeking help.
Hernandez understands struggling with mental health and wellness as a young athlete. The world watched Hernandez as she competed in gymnastics representing the U.S. at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
“Especially reaching the Olympics at such a young age and hitting 16 and all of those changes that happened after that,” Hernandes recalls. “Mental health was a really big topic.”
The athletes are sharing their own experiences to encourage others to seek help.
“You have to take care of yourself first and foremost,” Paralympic athlete Scout Bassett says. “If you don’t you’re not going to be able to be not just the best version of yourself but you’re not going to be able to help out somebody else if you yourself are not well.”
Garcia-Brito is inspired by the athlete’s willingness to come forward and share their stories. Garcia-Brito says that the athletes being so open about their own struggles is creating a space for Nike employees and others to have honest conversations about their mental health issues.
“We know there is no off-season for mental health and it isn’t just about being ready for those moment son urgent need It’s also about cultivating a healthy mind and body for everyday life,” Garcia-Brito says. “We’re always looking for new ways in which we can serve our athletes physically and mentally.
Nike is here to help people access the mental health they need.
“So we are thrilled to partner with Nike to advance the conversation about mental health and expand the support that is available,” Chief Transformation Officer Dr. Shairi Turner says.
If you need some help finding resources, you can text “STRONG” to 741-741.
Rapper and singer Lil Nas X jumped headfirst into the pool controversy this week. After setting the internet on fire recently with his latest single, the rapper ramped up the heat with a new shoe line called Satan Shoes. Featuring a bronze pentagram, an inverted cross, and a drop of real human blood, the shoes by Lil Nas sold out almost immediately.
It also launched a wave of comments and criticism.
The black and red sneakers came from a collaboration with Lil Nas X and New York-based art collective MSCHF.
The shoes were made with Nike Air Max 97s. Since the release, however, Nike has come forth to distance itself from the limited-edition design which dropped 666 pairs sold out in less than a minute. The shoes were priced at $1,018 a number that refers to the Bible passage Luke 10:18 which reads “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”
Each shoe has an air bubble sole that contains 60 cubic centimeters (2.03 fluid ounces) of red ink and according to MSCHF “one drop” of human blood. According to MSCHF spokesperson, the blood was provided by members of the art collective. “We love to sacrifice for our art,” he stated.
In a statement about the shoes, Nike said it was not involved in producing the modified sneakers.
“We do not have a relationship with Lil Nas or MSCHF,” the company said in an email to CNN. “Nike did not design or release these shoes and we do not endorse them.”
In response to the shoes, Nike requested a temporary restraining order.
On Thursday, a judge sided with Nike’s request for our temporary restraining order against the unofficial sneakers.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Nike is accusing the “Satan shoes” of damaging the company’s professional reputation. In reaction to the shoes, many consumers who believed them to be an official release threatened to boycott the company. While Nike did not sue the art collective over their “Jesus shoe” which was another unofficial Nike Air Max 97 shoe according to THR “Nike has left open the possibility of amending its complaint to include a claim over Jesus shoes too.”
Of course it didn’t take long for the shoes to spark outrage online.
Political and religious figures, like South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem and the evangelical pastor Mark Burns, were quick to chime in with their opinions about the shoes. In a tweet about the shoes, Burns called them “evil” and “heresy.”
Many fans of Lil Nas meanwhile, tweeted their support, however.
In response to the backlash around the shoe Lil Nas posted a video to his official YouTube account titled “Lil Nas X Apologizes for Satan Shoe.” The video has already been viewed over 1.8 million times and after a few seconds the “apology” cuts to a scene from the rapper’s latest music video, “Montero (Call Me By Your Name).” The video shows him dancing with a devil character. At one point the rapper snaps the devil’s neck and taking his horned crown for himself to wear.
Lil Nas X responded to the backlash over the music video’s rebellious religious imagery stating “I spent my entire teenage years hating myself because of the s**t 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.”