Nike Stands Behind Bigot Bryant: Follow Up Interview

19 Apr

Boycott Bigots of Nike

As TSM reported, Kobe Bryant has appealed the fine assessed for calling a referee a “faggot” during a Lakers game last week. Nor have we learned of any action to substantiate his words of apology.  What is worse is that Nike has made it clear that they will support the bigoted Bryant regardless; after all he is an “athlete.”  When I asked Nike for a response regarding Bryant’s appeal to the fine, I got:

There has been no change in Nike’s position or statement beyond our conversation on Friday. I would decline to comment further at this time.

I then asked if Nike would could please explain what are the criteria for hiring an “athlete” as a spokesperson.  Nike’s official response:

Michael, again, I am going to decline to comment further at this time.

The diversity statement that Nike publishes on their website apparently is just as hollow as Bryant’s apology.  Nike must use the Senator Kyl philosophy where their words are not intended to represent truth. While Bryant may not have intended to specifically refer to that individual referee as a “faggot,” it is clear that it was the first word that came to mind. Nike has now made a clear decision, sadly true, that it is perfectly acceptable to use a pejorative against the LGBT community. I can only wonder what all of the LGBT employees at Nike must be thinking.  Like Target, I am now calling for a world-wide boycott of Nike. I encourage all LGBT folks and LGBT allies to contact the HRC to change the status of Nike.

When will it finally be unacceptable to use slurs against the LGBT community? This seems like a perfectly appropriate opportunity to call your attention to how attitudes shape the risk of suicide attempts amongst LGBT youth.

“If you have questions, concerns or would like more information about Nike’s manufacturing practices, environmental issues, diversity or philanthropic policies and activities around the world, please call us at 1-800-344-6453 – (7 a.m. – 4 p.m. PT, Monday through Friday).”

12 Responses to “Nike Stands Behind Bigot Bryant: Follow Up Interview”

  1. webwordwarrior April 19, 2011 at 9:30 am #

    This is very sad news. It seemed that Nike had finally emerged from the shadow of their sweatshop past. Now they passively support bigotry with a tedious “no comment.” So much for integrity in business. Consider me a member of the boycott.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt April 19, 2011 at 9:48 am #

      I do believe that behavior speaks louder than words. Nike’s unqualified support of Bryant speaks volumes of how they practice business, despite the diversity statement. One wonders how their human resource department would handle a complaint by an employee being called a “faggot” by a fellow employee? Thanks for joining the boycott and speaking truth to power!

  2. mary April 19, 2011 at 10:03 am #

    I’ve purchased my last pair of Nike’s. My voice won’t be silent among my friends and I’m certain by spreading the word, we can make a difference. This is a company not worthy of our support. As a parent, I try to teach my children to be honest, to be accepting of all people, to treat everyone with honor and respect. I’m also teaching them to do business with companies that honor all peoples and treat the planet right. Nike fails the test…

  3. mary April 20, 2011 at 6:32 am #

    Check out what a gay NBA player has to say about Kobe in the NY Times…

    Nike, take notice!

  4. nike fans April 20, 2011 at 7:18 am #


  5. nike fans April 20, 2011 at 7:23 am #


  6. nike fans April 26, 2011 at 8:43 am #

    My first love is nike!

  7. 291749450 May 19, 2011 at 6:17 pm #

    very good~!

  8. yxh May 25, 2011 at 12:35 am #

    very good~!Thank you !


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    […] Nike Stands Behind Bigot Bryant: Follow Up Interview « The … […]

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