Thursday, May 14, 2015

Dear Nike: Timing Is Everything

#BoycottNike ?

In recent months (historically, generations), there has been much tension and ATTENTION regarding law enforcement and brutality in urban (specifically, Black) communities. See: Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Rekia Boyd, Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, and far too many others (recently and historically).

(Seriously, just read up on the deeply troubled history. I even Google searched it for you.)

 It was brought to my attention today that Nike has a 30% discount sale for law enforcement coinciding with National Police Week. 

Let me take a moment to say this, I'm a law abiding citizen and I'm not against justice or law enforcement, I know there are excellent police and first responders actually providing real services in their communities.  I AM against law enforcement using their power to manipulate, frighten, hunt down, and KILL innocent people.  

When news broke about this sale "Black Twitter" went IN, with the #BoycottNike campaign.  In the interest of full disclosure, I own a couple pair of Nikes (reference above).  But I was initially shocked, nonetheless.  After doing some independent research (because, integrity), I found out that Nike has in fact responded, here.  They've had this sale for law enforcement and first responders since 9/11.  
Okay.  Okay.  That's completely fair.  Completely.  

HOWEVER, as a well-known brand, with huge revenue numbers coming from the urban (read: Black) community, this should have been more thought out.  Period. Another article I read suggested either cancelling the sale OR continuing without 'fanfare'.  Both of which I can agree with.  

MY suggestion: Continue with the sale, have all, if not a huge chunk, of the proceeds go to organizations that seek to improve communities deeply affected by what's been going on.  Difficult, extremely, but also could be VERY worthwhile.  

Timing is EVERYTHING and someone wasn't wearing their watch.

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