Nike CEO boldly states where the company's real loyalties lie
China, with 1.4 billion people, has the potential to be more profitable for American corporations than America, with its measly 330 million people, ever could be. For those corporations blinded by all those Chinese yuan signs, instead of American dollar signs, the fact that China is a totalitarian state rife with human rights abuses is irrelevant. Last week, Nike's CEO, John Donahoe, made that patently clear when he unequivocally stated that Nike's and China's bonds will never be torn asunder.
Nike got its start in Beaverton, Oregon, by redesigning athletic shoes. It was a classic case of building a better mousetrap and witnessing the world beating a path to its door. Nike's brand is now valued at $29.6 billion, with its revenue in 2020 exceeding $37.4 billion — and that's despite the lockdown's impact on America's economy. One couldn't wish for a more American success story.
Now that Nike arguably created the market for shoes and clothes with an athletic twist, it's debatable whether Nike is still building a better mousetrap or if it's just one mousetrap among many. Of late, to maintain its competitive edge, Nike markets cachet rather than its products.
Its latest, long-term advertising campaign shows photos of celebrities with some fatuous statement printed across a close-up of their faces. At the bottom of the photograph is the famous Nike "swoosh" and the phrase "Just do it."
Before Colin Kaepernick came along, most people assumed that the motto meant to be defined by what one can do rather than by negatives. Banal, but it sounds good when it encourages people to push their bodies harder in athletic pursuits.
The problem with Kaepernick from many people's point of view was that Nike paid him the megabucks to be in its ads not because he was a good quarterback who was just doing it. He was a talented player, but, ultimately, at the Super Bowl, he was never able to close the sale.
Instead, Nike hired Kaepernick because this spoiled young man, who was raised in a White family, knelt during the Star-Spangled Banner to protest America's systemic racism. He almost certainly didn't come up with this idea on his own, incidentally. It coincided a little too perfectly with him getting himself as a girlfriend Nessa Diab, a leftist Muslim activist.
Nike proved over time that it was deeply loyal to Kaepernick's anti-Americanism. In July 2019, when it tried to win over the American patriots it had offended by putting out a shoe with a Betsy Ross flag, it withdrew the shoe the moment Kaepernick said the flag offended him because of its association with slavery. Of course, the Betsy Ross flag is firmly associated with the birth of America, not with the Confederacy. Kaepernick and Nike figuratively spat on a flag that commemorates the nation that made both obscenely wealthy.
At the same time that Nike was attacking America because of the slavery that ended more than 150 years ago, it was very busy sending love and money to China, a country that still actively has slavery, whether in the sweatshops, many of which are staffed with prison labor or in the genocidal Uighur "re-education" camps. Nike has also used child labor in the Third World. Additionally, when Hong Kong residents tried desperately to preserve the liberty they lost when Tony Blair handed Hong Kong over to a totalitarian nation, Nike supported China by silencing people in America who spoke out for Hong Kong.
If you're getting the feeling that Nike, a company that has profited hugely from America, has thrown its lot in with the Chinese communists, you're right. And you don't have to guess by piecing together the various stories about its business practices that have arisen over the years. Just listen to Nike's CEO, John Donohoe:
Chief executive John Donahoe said "Nike is a brand that is of China and for China" in response to a question about competition from Chinese brands.
Mr Donahoe was speaking during a call with Wall Street analysts about Nike's latest earnings report.
The comments come after the sportswear giant was recently hit by a backlash over statements about Xinjiang.
Xinjiang refers to the Uighur concentration camps there. Nike had voiced lukewarm concerns about slave labor, only to get pushback from Chinese shoppers. Donohoe, like John Cena before him, quickly bowed down to his Chinese masters.
America is still a free country, so if Nike wants to attack America while venerating a totalitarian China, it's free to do so. However, to the extent Nike gets any money from the American people in the form of tax benefits, those should stop immediately. And smart Americans would stop buying the product. I haven't in decades, preferring American-made New Balance athletic shoes, which are also more comfortable and last longer.
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