Nike and the Athlete

Nike is one of the best sport apparel provides in the world.  Nike has been the leader in sports technology and innovation that has produced some of the best sports products available on the market today.  They are able to produce sports equipment and uniforms for every sport that is played across the globe.  Nike’s global presence can be seen at every major sporting even through advertisements, commercials, endorsers, and team apparel.  This got me thinking about how the knowledge of Nike’s use of childhood labor to produce their products affected the Athletes that ware Nike’s products.

Knowing that Nike has had this black mark on their history has it stopped you from wearing their products?  I can remember being questioned about this by people in my classes in school and having to tell them that I was still going to wear Nike.  Though I was scrutinized for my decisions, I thought to my self was I really supporting Nike in their international child labor factories.  I had many other team mates that still wore Nike and still do today.  I prefer Nike over other sports equipment providers when participating in sporting events.

Something that I found very interesting in the Nike case was that they quoted some college students and even a soccer coach, but did not quote any athletes college of professional.  The soccer coach did quit his job because he did not believe that it was right for him to be a “billboard” for company that engages is these acts.  I am wondering what the athletes were thinking about when they found out what Nike was doing over seas.  It would appear that while the entire country was outraged sport athletes still wore Nike products because they preferred them over the other sports apparel providers.  Professional athletes have more than enough money to buy other sports equipment, but still chose to wear Nike.  There were celebrities that jumped on the band wagon of protests but Athletes seemed to sit on the side line silent because they needed Nike’s product to perform on the field.  Do you agree with athletes in this situation?

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5 Responses to Nike and the Athlete

  1. eeewald says:

    I’m a little ashamed to admit it but the same holds true for me. In high school, I was well aware of Nike’s labor issues but when it came time to get new equipment that stuff never crossed my mind. All I was concerned with was the quality of the equipment I was buying. Even my school used Nike for all of its teams’ uniforms. I guess everyone likes to say that they would forego buying a certain brand because of character issues, but few people actually follow through with it.

  2. JWitty says:

    Yup. Add me to the list. I went through a Nike SB Dunk phase and when the occasional person would make a comment about their labor practices, I kind of just brushed them away. It’s similar with the food companies in the U.S. I posted last week about Food Inc., etc, but I still do eat meat that I buy at the grocery store. Easier said than done

  3. meghancrawford says:

    I think bringing up your personal experience with Nike apparel is a very important topic. In the Harvard Case, along with our discussion in class, we failed to mention exactly what age and when Nike creates brand recognition. I think this is significant because if most individuals start wearing Nike at a young age, we are more prone to continue wearing it as we get older. If we are not affected by child labor that goes into making Nike apparel in high school, the trend will continue, eventually to a much greater scale. For example if you except wearing Nike in high school, most likely you will except it in college sports, and eventually in professional sports as a player, as well as a spectator. I think the quality of the equipment may not be the main issue but instead the association and loyalty we have formed over the years for the Nike brand.

  4. Alyssa Haglund says:

    I don’t think I truly understood the entire Nike Labor situation because the meat of it happened before we were even 10 years old. However, I do think that laying low during these times due to favoritism of the products themselves is completely accurate. Even the players endorsed tried to remain a little low because they were being attacked for being partially responsible for the acts. The other athletes probably tried to lay low and remove the possibility that they were also partially responsible for it by wearing those products.

  5. Nate says:

    To address your discussion on professional athletes: In the article it says how they were questioned by reporters after games or at signings. It seemed that they did not have much to say about the situation even though they are endorsing the Nike emblem. Since they are being paid by Nike to wear the swoosh, it’s almost as if they are Nike employees as well. These athletes should therefore have some voice on these labor issues. However, professional athletes do need to watch what they say and choose their words wisely or they could be attacked by the media. Also, I do not think that after it was appropriate for reporters to be questioning the professional athletes on this topic when they should be celebrating a victory.

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