During the 2012 holiday season, 22-year-old Joshua Woods was shot and killed over his newly purchased Air Jordans. In many instances, new releases of the sneaker made famous by legendary basketball player, Michael Jordan, have become increasingly dangerous.
Woods was getting into his car after purchasing the $185 shoes from Foot Action. Three men attempted to rob him and then shot at the car 14 times with a .40 caliber hand gun as Woods attempted to drive away. One of the bullets hit the victim in the head, causing him to crash his car where he died at the scene.
Three years later, Woods’ mother, Dazie Williams has to relive the situation as the trial for the first of the three accused gunmen has begun in Houston, TX.
Attorney’s for one of the suspected assailants, Neal Bland claim that their client was under duress from the police when he admitted to shooting Woods, though he did confess that he wanted to rob him.
“My son’s life was worth more than a pair of shoes,” Williams told reporters. “Nike and Michael Jordan didn’t pull the trigger that took my son’s life, but with great power comes great responsibility.”
She shared that Michael Jordan has since called to offer his condolences but it’s not enough. “Nike has a responsibility in this, and they have to do something. If nothing happens, you’ll see more mothers like me, my son isn’t the only one.”
According to filmmaker, David J. Friendly who’s produced a documentary about the violent subculture associated with owning a pair of Air Jordans, there are at least 1,000 deaths per year over the shoes.
“There’s some gritty violence that goes down over this stuff,” Friendly explained. “Particularly in the inner city, these sneakers mean so much more. These kids form their identity around this material possession.”
Williams has since launched a campaign called “Life Over Fashion,” which aims to pressure Nike to alter the way the costly sneakers are distributed.
Nike spokesman, Brian Facchini has released a statement regarding the safety precautions that the brand plans to establish moving forward. “We are continuing to work with retailers who sell our products to improve the buying experience.”
He also added, “We are in regular contact with our retail partners to share best practices and will continue to do so. We continue to encourage people wishing to purchase our products to do so in a respectful manner.”
Woods was an organ donor who has been able to save four lives since his passing.