Connect
To Top
 

Nike Ad Angers Many

 

Nike released a short film as part of the company’s new ‘EQUALITY‘ campaign, but people have criticized it for being hypocritical over low-paid factory workers.

LeBron James, Serena Williams, Kevin Durant, Victor Cruz, Gabby Douglas, Megan Rapinoe, and Dalilah Muhammad make cameo appearances in the ad. In the ad, the athletes are shown in what appears to be the projects in an undisclosed urban neighborhood.

The ad is shot entirely in black and white. Michael B. Jordan speaks as an offscreen narrator and talks about the importance of diversity, saying, “Worth should outshine color. The ball should bounce the same for everyone. If we can be equals here, we can be equals everywhere.” Playing in the background throughout the ad is Alicia Keys’s “A Change Is Gonna Come.”

Nike’s ad has a total of over four million views,  but the company’s penchant for outsourcing and underpaying its workers has belied their campaign’s message. The ‘EQUALITY’ campaign is not Nike’s first hypocritical stance against socioeconomic issues.

The sneaker brand launched an onslaught of similarly inspiring ads during the 2016 Rio Olympics, including its famous “Da Da Ding” commercial featuring women athletes of color. In 2008, Nike jumpstarted the “Girl Effect campaign, which worked to encourage female empowerment. “Girl Effect” was endorsed worldwide. Notable advocates such as Oprah Winfrey, President Barack Obama, and First Lady Michelle Obama all supported the campaign.  

But while Nike’s ads and campaigns push for equality and human rights, its policies remain antiquated and unfair. The company has become notoriously famous for exploiting impoverished countries by capitalizing on the cheap labor. Nearly a third of Nike contractors operate in Vietnam. The brand has stationed so many factories over there, it serves as Vietnam’s primary employer, with 80 percent of its employees being women and girls.

Investigative journalist Maria Hengeveld of Slate conducted in-depth research on the issue, interviewing 18 female Nike factory workers from five different factories throughout Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Hengeveld’s interviewees relayed their working conditions as poor, hours long, and pay incredibly low. All 18 women admitted their wages were not even enough to support their families’ basic needs. Wages range around $150 USD to $400 USD a month depending on the employee’s seniority.

Despite the obvious abuse and public coverage, reports like Hengeveld’s have done little to pressure the sneaker brand from reforming their factory’s policies. Nike recently banned the WRC (Workers Rights Consortium) from entering their factories; that group previously acted as an independent judge of the working conditions in factories.

According to the WRC’s 2016 reports, Nike’s Hansae Vietnam factory in Ho Chi Minh City was found with numerous violations upon inspection, including extensive wage theft, forced overtime, pregnancy discrimination, illegal denial of sick leave and many other infractions. For at least a decade, the WRC has shared their reports with Nike and conducted numerous audits, emphasizing the severity of the violations found within Nike’s factories.

Despite their many human rights endorsements and campaigns, Nike has yet to practice what it preaches.

Featured Image by Ray Zhou on Flickr

Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Be Informed

  • Human Trafficking Through the Ages

    Human trafficking is the act of trapping people through violent, coercive, or deceptive means. It is a major, global issue that...

    Lydia SchapiroOctober 7, 2020
  • France Grants Mandatory Paternity Leave

    France has recently made the decision to double paid paternity leave for new fathers extended by 28 days from one week...

    Kalyn WomackOctober 2, 2020
  • U.S. Marine Walks Free for Killing of Transgender Woman

    U.S. Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton was pardoned for the killing of a trans woman Jennifer Laude in 2014 by the Philippine...

    Kalyn WomackOctober 1, 2020
  • How to Manage Perfectionism

    Perfectionism can be extremely harmful as well as difficult to manage. Luckily there are ways to cope and improve your mental...

    Lydia SchapiroSeptember 24, 2020
  • Naomi Osaka Advocates for Racial Justice

    Learn about how star tennis player, Naomi Osaka, shows her social activism and support to racial justice on the court.

    Lydia SchapiroSeptember 16, 2020
  • Sustainability at Home

    Cultivating sustainability in the home is easier than you think! Learn about the easy ways to make your home more eco-friendly....

    Lydia SchapiroAugust 27, 2020
  • How Will College Change in the Fall?

    Keep reading to learn about the question marks surrounding the coming semester.

    Lydia SchapiroAugust 26, 2020
  • Egypt Making Strides Toward Equality

    Egypt took a step further in the direction of women’s rights a few days ago, approving a law that would protect...

    Kalyn WomackAugust 21, 2020
  • Black Mothers: The Risk of Giving Birth

    Serena Williams was not the first black woman to be ignored by her doctor post-partum. Black mothers consistently balance the joy...

    Kalyn WomackAugust 14, 2020
  • No More Bumps: 5 Steps to Smooth Skin

    Ladies, it’s hard to feel nice and smooth after shaving when ingrown hairs and bumps immediately take the spotlight. However, not...

    Kalyn WomackAugust 13, 2020