When Meek Mill’s long-awaited comeback album, Championships, finally released earlier this month, before any of us could appreciate just how sharp Meek had become since his last outing, Jay Z had already claimed the record as his own. With the final verse on the impactful posse-cut “What’s Free,” Jay relentlessly yet effortlessly delivered one of the best rap verses of 2018.
His words continue to resonate weeks removed from the album’s release as much like his latest record, 4:44, its thesis is rooted in social justice and equality. Running parallel to that output is his hand in the PUMA Clyde Court Disrupt “Peace on Earth” sneaker which, upon its release on December 20, will benefit the Trayvon Martin Foundation in an effort to fight gun violence. For every pair of the shoe that is sold, $5 dollar will be donated to the foundation.
Jay Z, PUMA Basketball’s widely celebrated Creative Consultant and brand partner through Roc Nation, is no stranger to activism. Back in July, the Brooklyn native executive produced a six-part docuseries, Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story, chronicling the tragic murder of Martin in 2012. He’s also let his voice ring out on the topic both in song and in interviews.
Reinforcing the shoe’s message will be several of PUMA’s brand ambassadors: Terry Rozier, DeAndre Ayton, and Kevin Knox, all of whom will debut the “Peace on Earth” on the court later this month. The style pulls inspiration from the freedom and tranquility of the white dove.
When PUMA initially relaunched its basketball division earlier this year — it had been dormant for two decades prior — they made it clear that they’d be extremely active in social justice, as so much of the culture that encapsulates sports and sneakers are hugely influenced by minorities and their collective marginalization. This initiative (and others before it) proves they’re traveling that course as promised.