Following a weekend of confusion, global unrest and protests at airports across the U.S. after President Donald Trump signed a controversial executive order restricting travel from seven Muslim-majority countries, one major footwear executive is speaking out.
Nike CEO Mark Parker said in a statement to company employees that the Beaverton, Ore.-based athletic giant does not support the ban.
“Nike believes in a world where everyone celebrates the power of diversity. Regardless of whether or how you worship, where you come from or who you love, everyone’s individual experience is what makes us stronger as a whole,” Parker wrote. “Those values are being threatened by the recent executive order in the U.S. banning refugees, as well as visitors, from seven Muslim-majority countries. This is a policy we don’t support. And I know we’re all asking what this means for our future, for our friends, our families and our broader community.”
This is not the first time the company has waded into political territory.
Last July, Parker weighed in on issues of race, violence and policing in America. Then, in an open letter to its 32,000 employees, he said Nike “has a long history of supporting the marginalized and those whose voice is not always heard.”
He continued: “I am proud that Nike stands against discrimination in any form. We stand against bigotry. We stand for racial justice. We firmly believe the world can improve.”
The executive ended the note with the popular hashtags: #blacklivesmatter #stoptheviolence.
In his most recent statement, Parker said he was concerned about how the ban would impact company-sponsored athletes such as Sir Mo Farah, a four-time Olympic gold medalist, who lives in Oregon with his family. The elite athlete, born in Somalia, was concerned that he wouldn’t be able to return from his training camp in Ethiopia.
“Nike stands together against bigotry and any form of discrimination,” Parker said.