In honour of Martin Luther King day and with Black History Month approaching, Nike released their 2018 EQUALITY line featuring shoes and apparel with messages of and relating to equality on them.
NBA teams who played from January 11-15 were seen sporting Nike’s “I Have a Dream” t-shirt during warm-ups. Nike further reports that their BHM collection “celebrates black heritage around the world by feeling community action to create positive change”.
Furthermore, the colours used in this line were inspired by the Pan-African flag.
While few will dispute that the overall message is positive, it’s hard not to notice the hypocrisy of messages of this nature coming from a brand like Nike.
I’m positive that when MLK was talking about equality, he wasnt trying to lay down the blueprint for Nike to put “equality” on a damn sneaker. It’s deeper than that. He was against capitalism if anything
— danielle fan club (@5THCONSCIOUS) January 16, 2018
It’s hard to take seriously a company that’s faced many allegations of utilizing sweatshops and child labour to increase their profit margins, paying factory workers in Indonesia $3 a day, advocating for equality. It would seem reasonable that if a company were to voice for equality, they would be able to treat their workers equally and fairly.
Shoes worth hundreds of dollars, made by low wage laborers, advertised as necessities to low income Black and Brown youth and sold in a capitalist, war mongering nation is not at all the dream Dr. King had https://t.co/xtW2nUW29n
— 👨🏾🏫👨🏾💻👨🏾🎨 (@henoss_t) January 14, 2018
It’s hard to see what putting the word ‘equality’ on apparel and footwear, that is hardly accessible to those of lower socioeconomic status, without something actionable accompanying that really accomplishes moving towards equality.
— Apollo (@AmunRasheedd) January 15, 2018
While the message is nice, I would like to see wealthy companies held more accountable for their actions and putting to practice the messages they preach.
If a pair of sneakers representing equality costs $200, are said sneakers doing anything but making people who can afford them feel like they care and the people who can’t less than equal? Dear @Nike , I’ll buy a pair if you give a matching pair to a kid that can’t afford them.😎
— Dave Whitlock (@storagemagician) January 15, 2018