The Face of Nike



Colin Kaepernick has been hired by Nike, the seller of vastly overpriced sneakers to impoverished Black kids, to be its public face.  Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts tells us about it:

Nike to conservative Americans

Screw you!   Yep. I have a feeling that Nike, like most corporations, would fly China’s communist flag if they thought it would increase their bottom line.  There are hundreds of NFL players, or other athletes, Nike could choose.  Nike chose this as a statement every bit as much as Kaepernick’s statement. It reflects Nike’s attitudes about the US, and those who don’t subscribe to the Kaepernick perspective.  Note well, Nike did not – repeat, not – choose Tim Tebow, despite how popular or ‘inspirational’ he was to some. 
Go here to comment.  Nike has always been a bottom feeder of a business.  They make their money by selling at vast markups overpriced footwear, disproportionately to poor black kids, by enlisting athletes to peddle the illusion that if the kids get the shoes they could be the next multi-millionaire athlete.  While doing this scam, Nike has the shoes thrown together in foreign sweatshops by the cheapest labor imaginable.  Nike has been under fire for the foreign sweat shops for decades, and this hiring of  Kaepernick is a cynical ploy to shut up their critics on the Left and among Blacks.

From Sweat-shop Workers to Business Owners

The Oregonian features an article on how Chinese workers who spent years working in factories for American brands like Nike and Columbia Sportswear have become a major source of business startups and wealth in China’s rural interior.

WUHU, China — Years after activists accused Nike and other Western brands of running Third World sweatshops, the issue has taken a surprising turn.

The path of discovery winds from coastal factory floors far into China’s interior, past women knee-deep in streams pounding laundry. It continues down a dusty village lane to a startling sight: arrays of gleaming three-story houses with balconies, balustrades and even Greek columns rising from rice paddies.

It turns out that factory workers — not the activists labeled “preachy” by one expert, and not the Nike executives so wounded by criticism — get the last laugh. Villagers who “went out,” as Chinese say, for what critics described as dead-end manufacturing jobs are sending money back and returning with savings, building houses and starting businesses.

Workers who stitched shoes for Nike Inc. and apparel for Columbia Sportswear Co., both based near Beaverton, are fueling a wave of prosperity in rural China. The boom has a solid feel, with villagers paying cash for houses.

“No one would take out a mortgage to build a house,” said Wang Jianguo, 37, who returned after a factory injury in a distant province to the area near Wuhu, west of Shanghai. “You wouldn’t feel secure living in a house you didn’t own.”
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Sweatshop Economics Must Not Continue

I don’t believe any good Catholic would say they are happy with the situation of so many sweatshops operating in China et al.  The problem is what to do (or not do) about it.  I am giving my students a research project premised on a single sentence- “How can I avoid buying sweatshop products?”.  We are simultaneously studying the good Pope Benedict XVI’s “Caritas In Veritate”- specifically paragraphs #21, 22, 25, 27, 35, 36, 37, 38, 40, 41, 44, 48, 49, 51, 60, 63, 64, 65, 75, and 76. You can follow along at home!

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