Athletics: Adidas sparks furore with Boston Marathon 'survivor' e-mail

The official Twitter account of Adidas North America rushed to apologise.
The official Twitter account of Adidas North America rushed to apologise.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - German sportswear giant Adidas sparked a social media outcry on Tuesday (April 18) after sending an e-mail congratulating runners in the Boston Marathon for having "survived" the race.

The choice of words jarred as memories remain fresh of the 2013 deadly bombing of the event in the Massachusetts city.

"Congrats, you survived the Boston Marathon!" Adidas said in the subject line of an e-mail it sent to the 26,492 participants who finished the annual race Monday.

The e-mail instantly set off a furore on social media, where many people published screen grabs of the email and denounced its offensive nature.

The official Twitter account of Adidas North America, with the handle @adidasUS, rushed to apologise.

"We are incredibly sorry. Clearly, there was no thought given to the insensitive e-mail subject line we sent Tuesday," it tweeted.

"We deeply apologize for our mistake."

On April 15, 2013, two brothers of Chechen descent, Tamerlan and Dzokhar Tsarnaev, planted pressure-cooker bombs near the Boston Marathon finish line, killing three people and injuring 264 others.

On Monday, Geoffrey Kirui and Edna Kiplagat led a Kenyan clean sweep at the 121st Boston Marathon, winning the respective men's and women's races.

The Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon and one of the most prestigious races over the distance of just over 26 miles (42km) on the athletics calendar.