Nike's Moral Indignation
On a day when Lance Armstrong stepped down as chair of Livestrong, the charitable foundation he started, Nike also announced they were ending their contract with the disgraced cycling star. It has been reported Armstrong will lose up to $30M in sponsorship monies as this and other sponsors flee.
It is unclear if Nike would continue to support the foundation as they have done in the past or what will happen with the huge annual Austin, Texas fundraiser coming up in two weeks. Sean Penn and Ben Stiller were scheduled to attend. Robin Williams and Norah Jones were to perform. Armstrong will still sit on the board at Livestrong.
NIKE HAS STANDARDS
As recently as October 2 Lance Armstrong was at the Nike Center working on Livestrong products and hours after the USADA released their scathing report on October 10, Nike issued a statement of continued support, echoing a similar stand they took in August. Then suddenly: BAM, SWOOSH, GONE!
Oddly, Nike stood by Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant and Michael Vick to name 3. They did drop Vick when he went to jail but quickly reinstated him after he did his time. Apparently by Nike's high moral standards, serial philandering, rape and animal cruelty deserve a second chance, but not doping in a sport that's as dirty as they come.
This is not in defence of Lance Armstrong and what he did. Lance had a decision to make all those years ago on whether to ride dope free and perhaps as a whistleblower, clean up the sport, or take the path he took which was, “everyone else is doing it, why shouldn't I?” AND Nike is a for profit company that makes shoes, equipment and apparel. Why should we expect them to have any real connection to the rules and regulations of high level competition? Well, we shouldn't.
BUT...when you start making high moral statements on dropping Lance Armstrong, while underpaying foreign workers to make a LeBron shoe that you can sell for $300, pardon us if we find this a little incongruous. LEAVE COMMENTS.
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