Friday, August 08, 2014

When it comes to violence against women, Nike's motto is: 

"Just Do It." 

Ben Roethlisberger, twice charged with beating and raping women, both cases settled out of court. Nike athlete.

Ray Rice admitted punching and knocking out his fiance, blamed her for it during the press conference. Nike athlete.

Greg Oden, just arrested for punching his ex-girlfriend in the face. Nike athlete. 

Kobe Bryant charged with rape, brought to trial, settled out of court and apologized to the victim. Nike athlete. 

And Nike was the corporate genius that compared Oscar Pistorious with a bullet. Nike did not pull the ad until Pistorious was officially charged with the shooting murder of his girlfriend.  

How is it possible Nike has not been held accountable for their complicity of their athlete’s horrible actions?  Over and over again.

From simply awful behavior, like Tiger Woods’s immorality and hypocrisy, to criminal behavior, like Lance Armstrong’s doping, lying and suing and ruining people for telling the truth. 

Nike supported Michael Vick during his dog-fighting conviction, dropped him when he was in prison, then signed him up again when he got out. 

Supported Kobe Bryant before, during and after rape trial where he settled out of court and apologized to his victim. 

Currently Nike supports a violent two-time sexual criminal, Ben Roethlisberger, who beat up and raped young women, not once, but twice. 

Nike not only puts up with these evil people, they throw money at them. Lots and lots of money. 

How is it possible for a corporation comprised of so many hardcore vegan feminists (I've been there, I saw them) at Nike to remain silent about known rapists like Kobe Bryant and Ben Roethlisberger and a convicted dog-fighter, like Vick, representing their brand? Ben and Kobe are - and until recently, Vick used to be - not just Nike athletes, but full-blown Nike advertising prized show horses.  

How can those women support the company that sponsors two recent women beaters like Ray Rice and Greg Oden? Just from the tally of those pictured above, Nike male athlete stars versus women equals: four severe beatings, three rapes and one murder. 

Nike likes to throw around the word "loyalty" when it comes to sticking with their athletes. This from the company who dumped reigning Olympic gold medal Decathlon winner, Brian Clay, prior to the London Olympics. At Nike, loyalty and making Nike a lot cash seem to go hand in hand.

Belive me, I am not claiming to be a saintly crusader for woman. As a comedy writer, I have made more than my share of sexist remarks in my Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian jokes. 

But I have a daughter, and how anyone who has a daughter can work for a company that gives millions of dollars to Ben Roethlisberger escapes me. 

When it comes to rape and violence against women, “Just Do It” has taken on an ugly meaning. 

Nike has not only lost their soul, they have lost any trace of a corporate sense of humor. (Nike's sometimes funny commercials, like the Tiger/Rory driving range, are made out of house) 

What happens when an entire corporation becomes so humorless they lose perspective? They run a commercial during the London games joking about a woman being chased by a chainsaw murderer, but narrowly getting away because she wore Nike running shoes. Funny, funny stuff. (NBC soon pulled the insanely idiotic ad after a tidal wave of protests) 

Humor requires sensitivity, humor requires being in touch, humor requires empathy. Clearly Nike has none of these. 

P.S. The Chainsaw ad features a half-naked former Olympic runner, Suzy Favor-Hamilton, who would later confess to being a Las Vegas call girl. When it comes to picking athletes with bad character, you just cannot beat Nike.