Nike has released a new ad that sends a powerful message about diversity and equality.
Amid the era of hate sparked by President Donald Trump, it is important, now more than ever, that businesses and public figures use their broad platforms to combat the divisive rhetoric promoted by the Trump administration.
The black and white commercial is narrated by “Fruitvale Station” actor Michael B. Jordan and features world-renowned athletes, including LeBron James, Serena Williams, Kevin Durant, Megan Rapinoe, Dalilah Muhammad, Gabby Douglas, and Victor Cruz, with Alicia Keys singing the Sam Cooke classic “A Change Is Gonna Come.”
“Is this the land history promised?” Jordan asks in his voiceover.
“Worth should outshine color. If we can be equals here...” Jordan says as the screen shows a group playing basketball in the street. James finishes the sentence: “We can be equals everywhere.”
Directed by two-time Grammy Award winner Melina Matsoukas, the ad aims to use “the power of sport” to “create conversation, inspire people to act, and press for lasting change in their communities,” according to a Nike press release.
“Nike believes in a world where everyone celebrates the power of diversity,” Nike President and Chief Executive Mark Parker wrote in a letter to employees last month. “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.”
While the new commercial doesn’t explicitly mention Trump or his policies, it very clearly shows a distinct contrast to the president’s agenda.
Of course, as a corporate entity, Nike is using its equality campaign to sell merchandise, including its line of specialty shirts and Black History Month shoes. However, the company is also using the ads to announce its partnership with PeacePlayers International and MENTOR, two youth-oriented organizations, The Huffington Post reports.
The company is set to donate $5 million this year to groups dedicated to fostering equality.
Nike hasn’t always been the poster child for ethical practices. It wasn’t long ago that the company was under fire for its use of sweatshop labor.
Over the years, the athletic wear giant has been able to completely turn its image around by becoming more transparent with its factory policies and implementing more regulations to improve working conditions.
With that said, some may argue that Nike has no room to criticize Trump. But, unlike our new president, Nike regained the public’s trust by listening to people’s concerns and improving on its shortcomings.
Despite its tumultuous history, Nike is standing strong — which is more than we can say for many of Trump’s failed businesses.
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