On Thursday, Nike co-founder Phil Knight said the Swoosh is done with Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving because the star guard “stepped over the line” by posting a social media link to an anti-Semitic movie. Boston Celtics’ all-star Jaylen Brown was having none of this, as he tagged Nike for hypocrisy over the issue of China.
“Since when did Nike care about ethics?” Brown tweeted in response.
The same can be said of Brown and the NBA. He has worn Nike shoes in some games this season. Nike sources products from a factory in Qingdao, China, where Uyghur laborers are brutalized and forced to produce basketball shoes. The NBA pacifies China to protect income from its largest market.
“Nike is a brand that is of China and for China,” boasted Nike CEO John Donahoe in the recent past. Better put: Slavery in present day China good, slavery in USA in past centuries bad. The woke corporation recently issued this statement on Irving:
At Nike, we believe there is no place for hate speech and we condemn any form of antisemitism. To that end, we’ve made the decision to suspend our relationship with Kyrie Irving effective immediately and will no longer launch the Kyrie 8. We are deeply saddened and disappointed by the situation and its impact on everyone.
The NBA suspended Irving for five games and ordered him to meet several conditions before he can be activated again. Brown serves as vice president of the NBA players union, and he countered that by saying Irving’s suspension will be appealed because “a lot of the players expressed discomfort with the terms” of the suspension.
The New York Times has previously reported that Nike lobbied against the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which sought to “bar products from Xinjiang from entering the United States.” It was signed into law last year, despite Nike’s craven opposition.
Steve Mosher, of the New York Post, laid into Nike for its selective outrage over racism.
Really, Nike? Then why do you have your shoes made by an oppressive, morally bankrupt regime? China is the ugly poster child, the living exemplar, for all of the evils that you are so quick to condemn America for.
Right now, at this very moment, the Chinese Communists are eliminating the Uyghurs, a Turkish-speaking people who live in China’s Far West, from the face of the earth.
Nike and the NBA will continue to rake in their Chinese windfalls, while giving meaningless lip service to social justice. Shame on both of them. They deserve zero respect and none of our consumer dollars.
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