Following a week of Protests and Unrest in Minneapolis, Nike has released a powerful new Ad asking Americans to Don't Do It. Nike released this Ad on its Digital Channels telling consumers "For once, Don't Do It. Don’t pretend there’s not a problem in America. Don’t turn your back on racism. Don’t accept innocent lives being taken from us.” It inspired people to not be silent and not make excuses and be a part of Change. The CEO John Donahoe is urging employees to take a stand against racism and police brutality. He recently communicated the message via an internal message "“Let me be as clear as I can: Nike is opposed to bigotry. We are opposed to hatred and inequality in all its forms, indirect and overt".
On May 25, Derek Chauvin, a white Minneapolis police officer, kept his knee on the right side of Floyd's neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds; 2 minutes and 53 seconds of which occurred after Floyd became unresponsive, according to the criminal complaint filed against Chauvin. A video recording by a witness, showed the arrested Floyd repeating "Please", "I can't breathe", and "Don't kill me", was widely circulated on social media platforms and broadcast by the media. All four officers who participated in the arrest were fired the next day.
Standing up for Social Issues
This isn't the first time Nike has chosen to take a stand on the issue of racial inequality and police brutality in America. On September, Nike renewed its endorsement deal with Colin Kaepernick, who made headlines for his peaceful protest of police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem at NFL games. These Ads draw a question - What is the Responsibility of Brands in Today's Age ? Is it just to earn profit for the Shareholders' ? Or is it to act in a way that tries to Push for a Better Tomorrow ? Can we expect Brands to be Socially Responsible ? Did Nike go out of its way to promote Social Justice or did it merely do what was required from it ?