Mark Parker denounces racism, bigotry and violence in company-wide email.
Nike CEO Mark Parker has issued a company-wide email in wake of the tragedy in Charlottesville, Virginia that left one woman dead and 19 others injured.
Parker reiterated the companies core values and condemned the racism, bigotry and fatal violence that took place last weekend as white supremacists held a rally in protest of the potential removal of a Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville. Additionally, Parker touched on the recent terrorist attack on Barcelona that left 14 dead.
He reminded his employees that last year, Nike gave $5 million to organizations like PeacePlayer International and MENTOR that "make our communities a better place."
He also reminded Nike employees of the opportunity to donate to organizations that fight intolerance, mentioning that Nike will match 2-to-1 any employee donation through its Give Your Best platform until the end of the year. According to BizJournals, Nike regularly matches employee donations to company-approved organizations dollar-for-dollar and gives $10 for every hour an employee volunteers.
Some of Nike's biggest signature athletes, such as LeBron James and Kevin Durant, have been the most outspoken in light of the events in Charlottesville. Yesterday afternoon Kevin Durant spoke to reporters during "Kevin Durant Day," where he criticized President Trump for being a driving force behind the public rise of white supremacists.
Durant told ESPN,
"He's definitely driving it," Durant said. "I feel ever since he's got into office, or since he ran for the presidency, our country has been so divided and it's not a coincidence. When [Barack] Obama was in office, things were looking up. We had so much hope in our communities where I come from because we had a black president, and that was a first.
"So to see that and to be where we are now, it just felt like we took a turn for the worse, man. It all comes from who is in the administration. It comes from the top. Leadership trickles down to the rest of us. So, you know, if we have someone in office that doesn't care about all people, then we won't go anywhere as a country. In my opinion, until we get him out of here, we won't see any progress."
You can check out Mark Parker's full company-wide email below, via SoleCollector,
Like many of you, I have spent this past week shocked and saddened by the violence and hatred we saw in Charlottesville. The news has been incredibly difficult to see, and I know I have not been alone in feeling this way. There is no place—none—for the kind of bias, bigotry, and violence committed by white supremacists in Virginia. Our hearts go out to the families and everyone touched by this tragedy.
It is easy to feel lost and fearful amid the news, but in times like these I take comfort in the strength of our community. Nike has always stood up against and unequivocally rejected hatred and bigotry. We have declared time and again that Nike stands for helping all people achieve their highest potential, with a focus on equality. What happened in Charlottesville isn’t just morally shameful; it goes against everything we stand for.
We are part of a global Nike family firmly grounded in our values, including diversity and inclusion. Here at Nike, we stand together in our opposition to racism and hatred in any form. Now is an important time for us all to continue to support each other in our stance against prejudice and intolerance. We will continue to focus on being a safe and inclusive environment for our employees regardless of whatever the external environment may be. As a company, this will always be our commitment.
We are also horrified to learn of the attacks in Barcelona earlier today. I want to tell you that we are working to confirm the safety of all of our employees. We will be there for our teammates in Spain, as the Nike family deals with these horrible acts.
Through all this, I’m proud of our family and the values we share. I get to see us translate our principles into action every day. You lead by example, and you never lose sight of our shared humanity. Just over the last year, we have pledged $5 million to organizations including PeacePlayers International and MENTOR that work to make our communities a better place. Today, we continue this commitment by offering employees the opportunity to donate to organizations fighting intolerance everywhere. And when you give, Nike supports you: Every dollar you donate between now and Dec. 31, 2017, will be matched 2-for-1 through our Give Your Best platform.
In times like these, we must be there for each other. Nike is committed to supporting our teammates, our families, and our communities. The Nike United Employee Networks are always available for those of you who want to continue to engage and connect. They are an excellent resource for us all.
No matter where we live, across Nike we stand with those who work to see positive change in our world. There can be no question: Together we will oppose any form of racism or intolerance. We will not accept it, period.
Now, more than ever, we must stand by our values and support each other.
Chairman, President and CEO, NIKE, Inc.