News & Politics

Nike Facing Calls to Sever Ties With President Trump

Activists say it's time for Nike to choose which side of history it will stand on.

Photo Credit: Tinxi /

Nike is facing renewed calls and a petition from Courage Campaign to sever ties with Donald Trump, following the president's refusal to disavow white supremacy in the wake of the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. Nike currently leases a $200 million space in Trump Tower for its flagship store, NikeTown.

More than 72,000 people have signed the petition calling on Nike to cut all ties with Trump. Though Nike says “diversity and inclusion are key levers” in its business model and image, Courage Campaign argues Trump’s actions and values are inconsistent with the company’s brand. This inconsistency is especially glaring in the case of Manny Pacquiao, whom Nike dropped in 2016 after the boxer made homophobic remarks.

Courage Campaign, a grassroots advocacy organization, initially asked Nike to break with Trump after numerous sexual assault allegations surfaced; in particular, a 2005 Access Hollywood clip of Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women

“When Courage Campaign called on the company to disassociate itself from Donald Trump’s racist, misogynistic and bigoted brand last year, Nike refused. That was already too far,” said Eddie Kurtz, executive director of the Courage Campaign. “Now, the world is watching as our president rushes to the defense of white supremacists in Charlottesville. It is time for Nike to choose which side of history they will stand on and end their financial support for Trump and his companies. Anything less means that Nike is complicit in supporting Trump’s insidious and racist agenda.”

In response to last year’s petitioning, Nike signed a new lease with a non-Trump building, but never commented publicly on what it would do with its flagship store space.

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Jennie Neufeld is an intern at Salon, formerly a junior writing fellow at AlterNet. 

Julia Flasphaler is a junior writing fellow for AlterNet interested in trauma, gender and race. She is a senior English Literature major at Columbia University. Follow her at @juliaflafla.