UltraViolet, which advocates for issues such as equal pay for women and LGBT rights, is planning to fly a plane reading “Nike: Stop Paying Rent to Racist Trump” over Nike’s headquarters on Thursday in Beaverton, Ore. The protest, which will take place during Nike’s annual shareholders meeting, is meant to draw attention to the fact that Nike has a store at Trump Tower in New York City.
Citing Trump’s “support of white supremacist violence” during the Charlottesville, N.C., protests and decision to eliminate protection for youths who were brought to the U.S. illegally, the advocacy group calls on Nike to sever its business relationship with the Trump Organization. With a lease that is reportedly costing the brand more than $200 million, Nike’s Trump Tower location is just a few streets away from the company’s new flagship location at 650 Fifth Avenue.
“Nike’s utter disregard for the fact that they are funneling millions of dollars into the pocket of serial racist, bigot and misogynist by keeping its flagship NikeTown store in Trump Tower is less than inspiring,” Nita Chaudhary, co-founder of UltraViolet, said in a statement. In the past, the feminist group ran a campaign asking Reebok to drop its shoe collaboration with rapper Rick Ross after he rapped pro-date-rape lyrics on one of his albums.
When it comes to protesting the Nike location, UltraViolet is not alone — more than 30,000 people signed a petition asking Nike to not renew its Trump Tower lease, which is set to expire in 2017. While it is not clear whether Nike plans to pull out of the Trump Tower anytime soon, similar campaigns have asked Starbucks not to rent space in the building.
“If Nike truly intends to stand by its progressive values, they must take immediate action and sever financial ties with Trump. End of story,” said Chaudhary.