Travis Scott vs. John McEnroe Viral 'Rivalry,' Explained

Here's what's happening over the Nike Attack collaboration.

Image via Nike

Travis Scott and tennis legend John McEnroe are beefing over sneakers on social media, but how real is the drama?

The public link between the Cactus Jack artist and McEnroe’s Nike Mac Attack predates the shoe’s recent retro return. In March 2021, Travis was seen wearing a vintage pair of the ‘80s tennis shoe. LeBron James also wore a pair in the tunnel that January. This caused speculation that a retro could be in the works and sure enough, the model (rebranded as the Attack) returned this June.

But even before the OG grey colorway hit stores, Travis performed in May wearing a pair adorned with his signature reverse Swoosh design. It was clear there was a Cactus Jack x Nike Attack project in the works, and eventually, product photos hit the internet, seemingly pointing to a forthcoming drop. A rumored release date of Dec. 19 has also been going around, although Nike has yet to officially confirm that detail.

Twitter: @ComplexSneakers

Then, over the weekend, things got spicy when a “leaked” video of a Zoom call between McEnroe, Travis, and Nike employees appeared on popular Instagram account @liljupiterr. In the clip, a heated McEnroe takes issue with the “Cactus Jack” branding, saying they should go with an employee’s “Cactus Mac” suggestion instead. Travis and McEnroe briefly go back and forth before the former world No. 1 player—once notorious for his on-court temper—hangs up on the call.

By the following morning, McEnroe was stopped in the street by fashion documentarian @thepeoplegallery_, where he kept the “Cactus Mac” conversation going. “I was wearing these things in the ‘80s…before [Travis] was born” McEncore says while wearing the Travis Scott x Attack collab with a DIY adjustment on the heel’s branding crossing out “Jack” in favor of “Mac.” McEnroe was even sporting a T-shirt with the same revamped logo. 

The "rivalry" continued when Travis was seen defacing a plaque dedicated to McEnroe, spray-painting his Cactus Jack face over the plate. At this point, any question of the whole feud being anything other than a clever marketing stunt is out of the window, but you have to hand it to Nike for coming up with a new way to drum up hype over projects.