Fashion Police State: Did Wimbledon Go Too Far By Banning Roger Federer's Shoes?

Merlisa Lawrence Corbett@@merlisaFeatured ColumnistJune 26, 2013

Roger Federer prepares to serve with orange-soled shoes on display.
Roger Federer prepares to serve with orange-soled shoes on display.Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Add Roger Federer's orange-soled sneakers to the long list of shocking early exits from Wimbledon.

In fact, his limited-edition Nike's were bounced from the tournament before he was. 

The All England Club banned Federer's shoes, saying they violated the rules of all-white attire. The rules stipulate that there be no large solid blocks of color. 

Apparently, Federer was concealing something shady under foot and got caught.

Yes, that's right, Mr. Federer, the tennis Dean of Decorum, was issued a citation by the All England Club "Fashion Police."

Call Scotland Yard! It seems a certain Swiss gent has offended the sensibilities of the All England Club's aristocracy. 

To borrow a phrase from Wimbledon's all-time greatest offender, "You cannot be serious!"

Come on man, has the All England Club lost its collective mind?

Federer, winner of seven Wimbledon titles, was told to pack his orange-soled shoes before his second round match against Serhiy Stakhovsky.  

When asked at his post-match press conference if the change of shoes impacted his play, Federer said no.

But any distraction just before a match is not a good thing.

It's the most publicity for a pair of shoes since a pair of size 12 Bruno Magli's were identified in the O.J. Simpson murder case.  

Of course, Nike is having fun with the controversy. The special edition Zoom Vapor shoes reportedly sold out Monday on Nike's online store.

Nike also tweeted it's reaction to the ban by featuring a photo of the shoes and the header "One Match Wonder". 

What makes this ban odd is that it's such a small amount of color.

It's the same Nike orange color of the shorts worn by Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova. Perhaps, the ladies get away with it because the shorts are only visible when they leap.

But are the bottom of shoes any more visible?

If it's about the shoes, how about the orange Nike swoosh on Serena's shoes? 

Players like Federer, Williams and Sharapova have their Wimbledon attire previewed months in advance.

Perhaps, Federer's problem was that what he previewed was not what he wore. He previewed his basic Nikes—the ones he lost in.  

But was this all some orchestrated publicity stunt by Nike? Leave it to Nike to ignite such publicity about its apparel.

Is it a coincidence that Nike's biggest stars in tennis, Federer, Williams, Sharapova and Rafael Nadal, all wore Nike orange in some form?

Even Federer's warmup jacket had orange accents.

Williams may want to consider losing the orange, especially since the other Nike players have been sent home.   

If the All England Club is going to police color, at least be consistent. A block of orange on the behind is way more visible than the bottom of the shoe.

Besides, banning the shoes gained Nike more attention than they would have gotten if the All England Fashion Police let this violation slide.