This is a brand new world we live in. On the one hand, Americans voted in a president whose main qualification is that he’s done time as a reality TV star and also is known for running a many times bankrupted real estate business. On the other hand, in a change from the tendency to take a neutral stance, it appears corporations with a global presence and a youthful customer base are concluding it’s not in their best interests to sit on the sidelines and play both sides of the fence as Donald Trump’s incompetency plays out on a global scale.
In the case of the recently instituted travel ban, which locks out visits from residences of seven majority Muslim countries, Nike responded with a letter to its employees, sent by CEO Mike Parker. In it, the sport giant very simply stated it doesn’t support the policy.
The first paragraph read as follows (view the entire letter below):
“Nike believes in a world where everyone celebrates the power of diversity. Regardless of whether or how you worship, where you come from or who you love, everyone’s individual experience is what makes us stronger as a whole. Those values are being threatened by the recent executive order in the U.S. banning refugees, as well as visitors, from seven Muslim-majority countries. This is a policy we don’t support. And I know we’re all asking what this means for our future, for our friends, our families and our broader community.”
Adidas weighed in today (January 30) with a statement it distributed to the press. It was a bit more wishy-washy in that the company is “concerned” rather than flat out against the report, nonetheless, it’s clear its sympathies are not with the Trumpets.
Via Portland Business Journal, the statement reads as follows:
“Our company is built on the core belief that ‘through sport, we have the power to change lives. Sport has shown in the past and will show over and over again in the future that it can bring people together from all over the world — regardless of their nationality, gender, age, religion or sexual orientation. We at Adidas are proud to bring this positive power of sport to life every day at work and we cherish the diverse, international workforce we have around the globe. Some companies have already voiced their concerns about this decision and we join them in their call for an open and diverse society and culture in the U.S. and around the globe. It goes without saying that our commitment to the U.S. market and our people in America remains unchanged despite this current political climate.”
Tech companies were among the first to attack the policy with Google, Facebook and Apple all sending emails to their employees critical of the travel ban. According to Financial Times, Starbucks, Netflicks, Twitter and Slack executives have also criticized the decision.