Considering Nike Investment? Just Don’t Do It!
Rubin Wealth Advisors, in conjunction with American Conservative Values ETF (ACVF) has identified the ten worst companies for political conservatives (or patriots) to invest in. Investors can’t completely avoid placing their funds into all woke companies, but they can avoid investing in the worst offenders. Announcing “Rubin’s Bottom 10”
Let’s get to #4.
When it comes to being a woke corporation, it seems that since the second “summer of love” in 2020, the attitude that exists within C-suites and boardrooms when contemplating social justice activism can be summed up with the phrase, “Let’s just do it.” When it comes to Nike, Inc. (NYSE-NKE) however, the phrase is, “We just did it.” The sports apparel giant has been “woke” long before the term ever entered the American political lexicon.
The Nike story is different than the others that have been written about previously in this series insofar as up until they openly embraced one of America’s most public haters, Colin Kaepernick, their wokeness had revolved around things that a reasonable person might genuinely call “inclusiveness.” Nike’s woke behavior is offensive in two differing ways. The first is like all of the other companies we have mentioned, where they take an openly anti-America stance, the face of which has been Kaepernick.
The second is the rank hypocrisy of their preaching to us about inclusions when they are producing their product with slave labor overseas. Adlai Stevenson once described a hypocrite as someone who would cut down a tree and then stand on the stump to make a speech against cutting down trees. That is exactly where Nike has been standing since the 1980’s when they ran their first “Just Do It” advertisement featuring 80-year-old Walter Stack, a Bay Area runner who had reportedly run over 62,000 miles in his lifetime. This was Nike speaking out against ageism before anyone knew what ageism was.
But I wonder who was forced to make Walter’s shoes?
Nike continued with its celebrated ad campaigns over decades featuring sports that took on issues like participants with HIV/AIDS, women in collegiate sports, and handicapped athletes. None of these “causes” can be criticized on their face, as it is hard to argue against the inclusion of any of these groups in athletic activities. You can even go so far as to say that Nike was doing a public service by running widely seen ads designed to increase awareness and acceptance.
Still, I keep wondering who made the apparel the folks were wearing in all of these high-priced, super-slick ads.
In 2017 Nike found an inflection point on its journey along the wokeness curve by launching a series of ads on equality featuring anti-American celebs like Lebron James and Michael B. Jordan. Those ads set the stage for their welcoming embrace of Kaepernick starting in September 2018 when they ran their first ad featuring the very average NFL quarterback who found a way to be half-Marxist, half-moron while kneeling for our National Anthem before a football game.
The man who was so hateful that he would wear a t-shirt suporting the image of the murdering Che Guevara to practice, and so plainly stupid as to call the U.S. a racist country while he was making millions of dollars without constraint in this country’s free market has become the most identified face of the Nike brand for the past four years.
Over that time, Kaepernick has continued to make offensive statement after offensive statement and has joined forces with the hate group Nation of Islam. Nike’s response has been to continue and amplify its relationship with Kaepernick.
So, where does good ‘ole Colin get his shoes from, anyway?
In March of 2020, the Washington Post published a piece written by Australians Vicky Xiuzhong Xu and James Leibold of the Australian Strategic Policy. The pair had been researching the activities of the Chinese using forced labor for manufacturing production.
Their report read, in part:
Your favorite pair of Nikes might have been made using forced labor. So might many of your other favorite product. For months, our team of researchers based in Australia has been tracking the movement of Uighur citizens from their homeland in the western region of Xinjiang to other parts of China. We found that in the past three years, more than 80,000 of them have been transported to factories across China, where they are compelled to work on production lines linked to at least 83 brands….
Based on our information, The Post’s Anna Fifield visited a shoe factory in Qingdao producing sneakers for Nike and found that it resembled a prison, with barbed wire, watchtowers, surveillance cameras and a dedicated police station. Uighur workers at the factory, she was told, did not come on their own accord, nor could they return home for the holidays.
The stories about Nike using forced slave labor have been proliferating for decades, every bit as long as has been their various advertising campaigns promoting social justice. Once again, showing their ability to get in front of things, Nike has been virtue signaling long before that term came into common usage. And, under the can it get worse section, the NY Times reported that Nike is lobbying Congress to weaken a bill that would ban imported goods made with forced labor in China. Nike wants to be able to use forced labor to make its products.
As a patriotic investor, you simply cannot allow yourself to be sucked into Nike’s hypocritical claims of righteousness and inclusion when not only have they now turned openly hostile to American values, but when they have been silently promoting slavery for decades while at the same time they were trying to “teach” you how to love and support your fellow man.
When it comes to investing in Nike, the simple phrase is, “Just Don’t Do It.