Puma under fire for a tweet that mocked Nike's exploding shoe
- A US basketball superstar was forced to leave a key game after his shoe blew out in the opening seconds.
- Zion Williamson was wearing Nikes at the time, prompting Puma to send out a snarky tweet that immediately earned scorn from others online.
- Puma later deleted the tweet in question.
On Wednesday night, a US basketball superstar Zion Williamson was forced to leave a key university game when his shoe gave out just 33 seconds after tip-off.
It was a stunning moment, leaving the crowd ready to take in the greatest rivalry in university basketball (between Duke and North Carolina universities) to sit and wait as the Duke top player left the court.
Williamson was wearing Nike shoes, prompting Puma, a new high-level competitor in the basketball shoe market, to tweet about the moment.
"Wouldn't have happened in Pumas" the brand tweeted, and later deleted.
Almost immediately, the tweet came under fire from other Twitter users, who called out the brand for attempting to take advantage of a young player's injury.
With Williamson's status as the projected top overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft now in jeopardy, the jokes could clearly wait.
Additionally, some Twitter users noted the top promoted tweet above Zion's injury came from Adidas, promoting the new Ultraboost 19, leading to speculation that the Nike-competitor had made a quick investment to take advantage of the moment.
In comment to INSIDER, Adidas said that the promoted posts were unrealted to Zion's injury - the Ultraboost 19 was set to debut on Thursday for some time, so the placement of the promoted tweets was a coincidence.
It's not surprising that competing brands would attempt to take advantage of the bizarre moment - Nike almost immediately came under fire when the injury took place.That said, when attempting to make a joke that involves the well-being and future monetary prospects of a teenager from a corporate Twitter account, it's best to be extremely careful in your framing.
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