A federal judge has blocked the shipment of “Satan Shoes,” a collaboration between rapper Lil Nas X and New York-based company MSCHF that purportedly contain a drop of human blood in the sole, in response to a federal copyright infringement lawsuit filed by Nike.
The shoes, apparently modified Nike Air Max 97s — are decorated with a pentagram pendant and a reference to Luke 10:18: “And he said to them, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.’”
According to the website, which sells the sneakers for $1,018, the shoes also contain a drop of human blood in the sole, drawn from members of the MSCHF team. A total of 666 pairs were available, a number widely associated with the devil, and all but one pair have already been shipped to customers.
U.S. District Court Judge Eric Komitee ruled that Nike had sufficiently shown the need for a temporary restraining order, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which said a hearing to consider a longer-lasting preliminary injunctive would follow.
MSCHF’s attorney had asserted that Satan Shoes would be displayed in artistic collections, perhaps in museums, just as an earlier limited-edition of “Jesus Shoes” were displayed. The Satan Shoes line is a follow-up to the release of the company’s Jesus Shoes, which reportedly contain holy water. The white shoes are marked with the phrase “MT. 14:25,” which is a reference to Matthew 14:25.
Nike filed the complaint against MSCHF on Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York after the duo announced the release of their modified Nike Air Max 97s.
The Nike lawsuit did not mention the Jesus Shoes, but left open the possibility of including a claim over Jesus Shoes, too, according to the Reporter.
Nike’s lawyers had argued that “even sophisticated sneaker heads were confused,” and that consumers were boycotting Nike as they felt that Nike was associated with Satan Shoes.
Although Lil Nas X was not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, he took to social media following the lawsuit’s announcement.
He tweeted a meme of a homeless Squidward from “Spongebob Squarepants” begging for change.
The release of the Satan Shoes followed Lil Nas X’s latest single, “Montero (Call Me By Your Name).” The music video for the song is loaded with demonic imagery.
In the video, the rapper descends on a stripper pole and vulgarly gives Satan a lap dance.
The song is reportedly about a guy he met last summer, which he may have compared to Satan. However, the video ends with Lil Nas X snapping the devil’s neck and becoming Satan himself.
Both the release of the shoes and the music video, announced ahead of Palm Sunday weekend, drew criticism from conservative and Christian leaders.
On Facebook, Samaritan’s Purse head Franklin Graham, the son of legendary evangelist Franklin Graham, called the shoes “a dangerous marketing endeavor.”
“The morals in this country have fallen so fast, and many times the entertainment industry is leading the way,” he wrote. “The Word of God says, ‘And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell’ (Matthew 10:28). Hell is a real place, and so is the eternal torment of those who reject Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.”
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem tweeted last Sunday that children today “are being told that this kind of product is, not only okay, it’s ‘exclusive.’”
“But do you know what’s more exclusive? Their God-given eternal soul,” Noem wrote. “We are in a fight for the soul of our nation. We need to fight hard. And we need to fight smart. We have to win.”