The Reebok Kamikaze Will Now Be Known as the Hurrikaze
Reebok have announced a major name change to one of their most iconic products: the basketball shoe once known as the Kamikaze will now be called the Hurrikaze. This decision has been made retrospectively in consideration of the historical origins and connotation of the word ‘kamikaze’.
The Reebok Kamikaze is best known as the signature shoe of 1990s basketball star Shawn Kemp. Its name was chosen as a reflection of his aggressive, no-holds barred play style. However, there is an underlying sensitivity due to the term originally referring to Japanese fighter pilots on suicide bombing missions during World War 2.
‘We have a responsibility to be accountable, learn and grow as a brand, and although we can’t change the past we can most definitely impact change for our future,’ said Portia Blunt, Reebok’s VP of global apparel and executive lead for its Human Rights Award. 'By making this change we signal growth and acknowledge the impact words have on the those we serve within our diverse global sneaker community.’
Reebok have already begun phasing out the Kamikaze from their product line and introducing the Hurrikaze. The product more or less will remain identical except for a new name on the box – however, there will be a mixture of both shoes on the shelves for the next little while.