A viral social media campaign is urging popular American shoe brand Converse to take action in the wake of actor Matthew McConaughey's emotional remarks about Uvalde at a White House Press Briefing on June 7.
At the briefing, McConaughey, a Uvalde native, pushed lawmakers to pass stricter gun legislation — including tougher background checks and raising the minimum age to purchase assault weapons — and discussed details of his recent visit with families of the Uvalde shooting victims.
— Matthew McConaughey (@McConaughey) June 8, 2022
One of the families McConaughey spoke with was the mother and stepfather of ten-year-old Maite Rodriguez.
“Maite wore green high-top Converse with a heart she had hand-drawn on the right toe because they represented her love of nature,” McConaughey said as his wife, Camila Alves, held a pair of Converse sneakers similar to the ones worn by Rodriguez. McConaughey said Rodriguez’s sneakers were used to identify her because her body had been so badly mutilated by the shooter's AR-15.
“Wore these every day,” McConaughey said. “Green Converse with a heart on the right toe. These are the same green Converse on her feet that turned out to be the only clear evidence that could identify her after the shooting.”
Now, social media users are asking Converse to honor Rodriguez’s memory as the green high-top style quickly sold out on the Converse website.
— Dr. Jack Brown (@DrGJackBrown) June 7, 2022
On Tuesday, Twitter user @DrGJackBrown tweeted, “Hey Converse, how about renaming your Green Chuck Taylor's after Maite Rodriguez?” The tweet has since amassed over 68K likes and 10.5K retweets.
@DrGJackBrown later updated their request by adding in the comments section, “Addendum: Yes, and add the heart, too,” and “Second Addendum: Please give 100% (or more) of the profits to gun control.”
I will buy these and donate them. Screw it. I’ll buy ten pairs and donate then. Let’s go @Converse
— Brian Gantwerker, MD, FAANS, FACS (@cscla) June 8, 2022
Commenters on @DrGJackBrown’s tweet also called on Converse to take action while sharing what they planned to do themselves.
“I will buy these and donate them. Screw it. I’ll buy ten pairs and donate them. Let’s go Converse,” Twitter user @cscla wrote.
I drew a heart on my green Chuck Taylors, for her. pic.twitter.com/9MpWb2dZaq
— HoosierHippie☮️🕊️💙🔆♻️🌍♉🛶 (@INCannabis420) June 7, 2022
Twitter user @INCannabis420 shared a photo of their own well-worn looking Converse, on which they had replicated the small black heart that Rodriguez drew on her own sneakers.
“I drew a heart on my green Chuck Taylors, for her,” @INCannabis420 captioned a photo of their green high-tops.
I’m gonna order two pair and then send each to my senators. Who’s with me? Flood the Senate with green Converse All-Stars. Be sure and add the heart on the right toe.
Each of us has 2 senators. Send a pair to each of your senators! pic.twitter.com/PKyBbi3wBt
— Texas Joey (@RealJoeyBarnes) June 8, 2022
Another Twitter user, @RealJoeyBarnes, encouraged social media users to “flood the Senate” with green Converse.
“I’m gonna order two pairs and then send each to my senators,” @RealJoeyBarnes tweeted. “Who’s with me? Flood the Senate with green Converse All-Stars. Be sure and add the heart on the right toe. Each of us has 2 senators. Send a pair to each of your senators!”
I challenge .@Converse to mass produce green sneakers with a heart on the right toe and then donate some of the proceeds to Uvalde. I will buy the first pair (low cut)with a donation to the town. Anyone with me??
— joanne 🏳️🌈🌊🇺🇦🇺🇸☮️ (@joanneanewday) June 8, 2022
Twitter user @joanneanewday’s call to action has been gaining traction on social media as well.
“I challenge Converse to mass produce green sneakers with a heart on the right toe and then donate some of the proceeds to Uvalde,” @joanneanewday tweeted. “I will buy the first pair (low cut) with a donation to the town. Anyone with me??”
The tweet has garnered over 20.6K likes and nearly 5K retweets.
— Emily Sugarloaf☮ (@ESugarloaf) June 8, 2022
Converse has yet to publicly acknowledge the viral social media campaign, and neither Nike nor Converse, which is a subsidiary of Nike, has replied to Yahoo Life’s request for comment.
In the comments section of a pinned tweet on Converse’s Twitter page that was posted “in celebration of Pride,” Twitter users have started tweeting at Converse urging them to make a move.
“We're so proud of you for standing up for #Pride. Now we need you to stand with us for #GunVictims,” Twitter user @ESugarloaf’s message to Converse says.
Not to detract from Pride, but you should seriously consider this. https://t.co/Wz3r9wlL0C
— NorthernWitch (@Alaska_Dee) June 8, 2022
Twitter user @Alaska_Dee retweeted @joanneanewday’s request for Converse to produce green sneakers with a heart on the right toe and donate proceeds to Uvalde.
“Not to detract from Pride, but you should seriously consider this,” @Alaska_Dee told Converse.
Please consider a special green Maite Rodriguez shoe (with a heart on the toe) to benefit Uvalde pic.twitter.com/C68Jyi1z5I
— Nefler’s Mufflers (@nicodemustherat) June 8, 2022
Another Twitter user, @nicodemustherat, commented on Converse’s tweet with a photo of Rodriguez wearing her green high-tops.
“Please consider a special green Maite Rodriguez shoe (with a heart on the toe) to benefit Uvalde,” @nicodemustherat said.
Converse’s Instagram page has been flooded with requests as well. The comments section of the company’s most recent video, which was posted on Tuesday, is filled with green heart emojis and pleas for some initiative.
“Time for Converse to take a stand! Green High Top fundraiser for Ulvalde for Pro Gun Control and Maite’s passion for the environment,” Instagram user gphrazor says.
Since McConaughey's remarks on Tuesday, Rodriguez’s sneakers have taken on a life of their own, with the image of a pair of green high-tops evolving into a symbol of the pro-gun reform movement.
David Hogg, a gun control activist and survivor of the 2018 Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, tweeted an illustration of green high-top sneakers with a message encouraging people to join The March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C. on June 11.
Maite Rodriguez’s mother, Ana Rodriguez, also shared an image on her Facebook page of green Converse sneakers with a red heart on the right toe. The text on the image reads, “We must act to end gun violence, now.”
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